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A >»»»»»»»»»»»»»««««««<««««««« 6 



Lewis Carroll 


Alexander WooUcott 


John Tenniel 


























1. Down the Rabbit-Hole 17 

2. The Pool of Tears 26 

3. A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale 35 

4. The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill 42 

5. Advice from a Caterpillar 53 

6. Pig and Pepper 63 

7. A Mad Tea-Party 74 

8. The Queen's Croquet-Ground 84 

9. The Mock Turtle's Story 95 

10. The Lobster-Quadrille 105 

11. Who Stole the Tarts? 114 

12. Alice's Evidence 122 



1. Looking-Glass House 141 

2. The Garden of Live Flow^ers 156 

3. Looking-Glass Insects 168 

4. Tw^eedledum and Tweedledee 180 

5. Wool and Water 195 

6. Humpty Dumpty 208 

7. The Lion and the Unicorn 221 

8. "It's My Ow^n Invention" 233 

9. Queen Alice 250 

10. Shaking 268 

11. Waking 268 

12. Which Dreamed It? 269 




1. Less Bread! More Taxes! 287 

2. L'Amie Inconnue 294 

3. Birthday-Presents 301 

4. A Cunning Conspiracy 309 

5. A Beggar's Palace 316 

6. The Magic Locket 325 

7. The Baron's Embassy 332 

8. A Ride on a Lion 339 

9. A Jester and a Bear 346 

10. The Other Professor 354 

11. Peter and Paul 361 

12. A Musical Gardener 369 

13. A Visit to Dogland 377 

14. Fairy-Sylvie 385 

15. Bruno's Revenge 397 

16. A Changed Crocodile 405 

17. The Three Badgers 412 

18. Queer Street, Number Forty 423 

19. How To Make a Phlizz 432 

20. Light Come, Light Go 441 

21. Through the Ivory Door 451 

22. Crossing the Line 463 

23. An Outlandish Watch 475 

24. The Frogs' Birthday-Treat 484 

25. Looking Eastw^ard 496 



1. Bruno's Lessons 523 

2. Love's Curfew 533 

3. Streaks of Dawn 542 

4. The Dog-King • 551 

5. Matilda Jane 559 

6. Willie's Wife 568 

7. Mein Herr 575 

8. In a Shady Place 584 

9. The Farewell-Party 593 
10. Jabbering and Jam 604 


II. The Man in the Moon 


12. Fairy-Music 

13. What Tottles Meant 


14. Bruno's Picnic 


15. The Little Foxes 


16. Beyond These Voices 

17. To the Rescue! 


18. A Newspaper-Cutting 

19. A Fairy-Duet 

20. Gammon and Spinach 


21. The Professor's Lecture 


22. The Banquet 

23. The Pig-Tale 

24. The Beggar's Return 

25. Life Out of Death 






Fit The First 



('I'he Landing) 
Fit The Second 


(The Bellman s Speech) 
Fit The Third 


(The Baker's Tale) 
Fit The Fourth 


The Hunting 
Fit The Fifth 


The Beaver's Lesson 

Fit The Sixth 


The Barrister s Dream 

• # •— ' 

Fit The Seventh 


The Banker's Fate 

m m 

Fit The Eighth 
The Vanishing 



My Fairy 



Melodies 781 

Brother and Sister 782 

Facts 783 

Rules and Regulations 784 

Horrors 786 

Misunderstandings 787 

As It Fell Upon a Day 788 

Ye Fattale Cheyse 789 

Lays of Sorrow, No. i 791 

Lays of Sorrow, No. 2 794 

The Two Brothers 799 

The Lady of the Ladle 805 

Coronach 806 

She's All My Fancy Painted Him 807 

Photography Extraordinary 809 
Lays of Mystery, Imagination, and Humour, No. i: 810 

The Palace of Humbug 

The Mock Turtle's Song (Early version) 813 

Upon the Lonely Moor 813 

Miss Jones 816 







Prologue to "La Guida di Bragia" 








Canto I: The Try sting 


Canto II: Hys Fyve Rules 


Canto III: Scarmoges 


Canto IV: Hys Nouryture 


Canto V: Byckerment 


Canto VI: Dyscomfyture 


Canto VII: Sad Souvenaunce 




A Sea Dirge 


Ye Carpette Knyghte 



Hiawatha's Photographing 856 

Melancholetta 861 

A Valentine 863 

The Three Voices 865 

Theme with Variations 878 

A Game of Fives 879 

Poeta Fit, non Nascitur 880 

Size and Tears 884 

Atalanta in Camden-Town 885 

The Lang Coortin' 887 

Four Riddles 893 

Fame's Penny-Trumpet 898 


Ode to Damon 901 

I Those Horrid Hurdy-Gurdies! 903 

My Fancy 904 

The Majesty of Justice 905 

The Elections to the Hebdomadal Council 908 

The Deserted Park 917 

t Examination Statute 920 


Acrostic: Little maidens, when you look 922 

To three puzzled little Girls, from the Author 923 

Double Acrostic: I sing a place wherein agree 923 

Three Little Maids 925 

; Puzzle 925 

Three Children 926 

Two Thieves 927 

Two Acrostics: Round the wondrous globe 928 

Maidens, if a maid you meet 
Double Acrostic: Two little girls near London dwell 929 

Acrostic: "Are you deaf, Father William?" 930 

Acrostic: Maidens! if you love the tale 930 

Acrostic: Love-lighted eyes, that will not start 931 

To M.A.B. 932 

Acrostic: Maiden, though thy heart may quail 932 

Madrigal 933 


Love among the Roses 933 

Two Poems to Rachel Daniel 934 

The Lyceum 936 

Acrostic: Around my lonely hearth, to-night 937 

Dreamland 937 

To my Child-Friend 938 

A Riddle 939 

A Limerick 939 

Rhyme? and Reason? 940 

A Nursery Darling 940 

Maggie's Visit to Oxford 941 

Maggie B— 945 


Three Sunsets 946 

The Path of Roses 950 

The Valley of the Shadow of Death 953 

Solitude 958 

Beatrice 960 

Stolen Waters 962 

The Willow-Tree 966 

Only a Woman's Hair 967 

The Sailor's Wife 969 

After Three Days 972 

Faces in the Fire 975 

A Lesson in Latin 976 

Puck Lost and Found 977 


A Tangled Tale 983 

Novelty and Romancement 1079 

A Photographer's Day Out 1089 

Wilhelm von Schmitz 1097 

The Legend of Scotland iiii 


The Offer of the Clarendon Trustees 1121 

The New Method of Evaluation 11 23 

The Dynamics of a Parti-cle 11 29 

The New Belfry of Christ Church, Oxford 1139 


The Vision of the Three T's 1150 

The Blank Cheque 11 70 

Twelve Months in a Curatorship 1177 

Three Years in a Curatorship 11 82 

Resident Women-Students 11 85 

Some Popular Fallacies about Vivisection 1 1 89 

Lawn Tennis Tournaments 1201 
Eight or Nine Wise Words about Letter Writing 121 1 

What the Tortoise Said to Achilles 1225 

The Two Clocks 1230 

Photography Extraordinary 1231 
Hints of Etiquette, or, Dining Out Made Easy 1235 

A Hemispherical Problem 1237 

A Selection from Symbolic Logic 1238 

Rules for Court Circular 1265 

Croquet Castles 1269 

Mischmasch 1272 

Doublets 1274 

A Postal Problem 1280 

The Alphabet Cipher 1283 

Introduction to The Lost Plum Ca\e 1285 


As far as can be ascertained, the following pieces have 
never appeared in print except in their original editions. 
We are grateful to Mr. Morris L. Parrish for his courtesy 
in allow^ing us to copy them from the originals in his 

*'Resident Women Students" 

"Some Popular Fallacies About Vivisection" 

"Lawn Tennis Tournaments" 

"Rules for Court Circular" 

"Croquet Castles" 



"A Postal Problem" 

"The Alphabet Cipher" 

Introduction to "The Lost Plum Cake" 



845 My Fairy 

845 Punctuality 

845 Melodies 

845 Brother and Sister 

845 Facts 

845 Rules and Regulations 

849 Hints of Etiquette, or Dining Out Made Easy 

849 A Hemispherical Problem 

850 Horrors 

850 Misunderstandings 

850 As It Fell Upon a Day 

850-1853 Ye Fattale Cheyse 
850-1853 Lays of Sorrow, No. i 
850-1853 Lays of Sorrow, No. 2 
853 The Two Brothers 

853 Solitude 

854 Wilhelm von Schmitz 
854 The Lady of the Ladle 

854 Coronach 

855 She's All My Fancy Painted Him 
855 Photography Extraordinary 

855 Lays of Mystery, Imagination, and Humour, 

No. i: The Palace of Humbug 

856 Upon the Lonely Moor 
856 Ye Carpette Knyghte 
856 The Three Voices 

856 The Path of Roses 

856 Novelty and Romancement 
856-1860 The Legend of Scotland 

857 Hiawatha's Photographing 
857 The Sailor's Wife 

859 The Willow Tree 



860 Faces in the Fire 

860 A Photographer's Day Out 

860 Rules For Court Circular 

860 A Valentine 
860-1863 Poeta Fit, non Nascitur 

861 A Sea Dirge 
861 Ode to Damon 
861 Those Horrid Hurdy-Gurdies! 
861 Acrostic: Little maiden, when you look 
861 Three Sunsets 

861 After Three Days 

862 My Fancy 
862 Beatrice 
862 Stolen Waters 
862 Only a Woman's Hair 

862 The Mock Turtle's Song (Early version) 

863 Croquet Castles 
863 Size and Tears 

863 The Majesty of Justice 

864 Examination Statute 

865 The New Method of Evaluation 
865 The Dynamics of a Parti-cle 

865 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 

866 The Elections to the Hebdomadal Council 

867 The Deserted Park 

868 The Valley of the Shadow of Death ' 
868 The Offer of the Clarendon Trustees 

868 The Alphabet Cipher 

869 Phantasmagoria 
869 Melancholetta 
869 Theme With Variations 
869 Atalanta in Camden Town 
869 The Lang Coortin' 

869 To three puzzled litde Girls from the Author 

869 Double Acrostic: I sing a place wherein agree 

869 Three Little Maids 

870 Puzzles from Wonderland 

871 Prologue (p. 823) 
871 Prologue to "La Guida di Bragia" 


871 Three Children 

872 Two Thieves 

872 The New Belfry of Christ Church, Oxford 

872 Through the Looking Glass 

873 Prologue (p. 826) 

873 The Vision of the Three T's 

874 The Blank Cheque 

875 Some Popular Fallacies about Vivisection 

876 The Hunting of the Snark 
876 Fame's Pfenny Trumpet 

876 Acrostic: "Are you deaf, Father William?" 

876 Acrostic: Maidens! if you love the tale 

876 Acrostic: Love-lighted eyes that will not start 

876 Acrostic: Maiden, though thy heart may quail 

877 Madrigal 

878 Love among the Roses 

879 Doublets 

8^0 A Tangled Tale 

880, 1 88 1 Two Poems to Rachel Daniel 

881 The Lyceum 

882 Dreamland 

882 Mischmasch 

883 Echoes 

883 A Game of Fives 

883 Rhyme? and Reason? 

883 Lawn Tennis Tournaments 

884 Twelve Months in a Curatorship 
886 To my Child-Friend 

886 Three Years in a Curatorship 

888 A Lesson in Latin 

889 Sylvie and Bruno 
889 A Nursery Darling 

889 Maggie's Visit to Oxford 

890 Eight or Nine Wise Words about Letter Writing 

891 Maggie B — 

891 Puck Lost and Found 

891 A Postal Problem 

893 Sylvie and Bruno Concluded 

894 What the Tortoise Said to Achilles 



A Selection from Symbolic T,ogic 


Resident Women-Students 


Introduction to The Lost Plum Caf^e 

N. D. 

Miss Jones 


Four Riddles (p. 893) 


Puzzle (p. 925) 


Acrostics: Round the wondrous globe 

Maidens, if a maid you meet 

Around my lonely hearth tonight 


A Riddle (p. 939) 


A T.imerick (p. 939) 


To M. A. B. 






On THE fourth of July, 1862, the Reverend Charles Lut- 
widge Dodgson, a young Oxford Don, who was then, and 
for nearly half a century remained. Mathematical Lec- 
turer of Christ Church, took the day of? and went a-row- 
ing with the small daughters of the Dean. That eventful 
picnic was duly noted in his neat and interminable diary 
that night. The entry runs thus : 

"I made an expedition up the river to Godstow with the 
three Liddells; we had tea on the bank there and did not 
reach Christ Church until half-past eight." 

But at that time he did not deem one subsequently en- 
hanced detail of the day sufficiently important to be worth 
chronicling. He said nothing of the fairy tale he began to 
spin "all in the golden afternoon" there in the shadow of 
the hayrick to which the four Argonauts retreated from 
the heat of the sun. It was a tale about just such a little 
girl as the gravely attentive Alice Liddell who used to 
prod him when he ventured to let lapse for a time this 
story of another Alice falling down a rabbit-hole into the 
world of the unexpected. In response to such proddings, 
he carried the story along on that and other afternoons 
and finally committed it to manuscript as "Alice's Adven- 
tures Underground." Somewhat expanded this was pub- 
lished three years later under the nom de guerre of Lewis 
Carroll and under the title of Alice s Adventures in Won- 

In the sixty years that have passed since then, this gay. 


roving dream story and its sequel have seeped into the 
folk-lore of the world. It has become as deeply rooted a 
part of that folk lore as the legend of Cinderella or any 
other tale first told back in the unfathomable past. Not 
Tiny Tim, nor Falstaflf, nor Rip Van Winkle, nor any 
other character wrought in the English tongue seems now 
a more permanent part of that tongue's heritage than do 
the high-handed Humpty Dumpty, the wistful Mad Hat- 
ter, the somewhat arbitrary Queen of Hearts, the evasive 
Cheshire Cat and the gently pathetic White Knight. 

The tale has been read aloud in all the nurseries from 
Oxford town to the ends of the Empire. And there is no 
telling how many copies of it have been printed and sold. 
For when it was new, there was no binding law of inter- 
national copyright and it was as much the prey of all the 
freebooters in America as was a somewhat kindred work 
of genius that came out of England a few years later — the 
nonsensical and lovely thing called Pinafore, 

And the Alice books have known no frontier. If you 
poke about in the bookstalls on the Continent, you will 
stumble inevitably on Alice s Abenteur im Wunderland. 
Or Le Aventure d' Alice nel Paese Meraviglie (with illus- 
trations, of course, by Giovanni Tenniel) . You might even 
run into La aventuroj de Alicio en Mirlando which, if you 
must know, is life down a rabbit-hole as told in Esperanto. 
And you are certain to come upon Les Aventures d' Alice 
au Pays de Merveilles with one of the puns of the incor- 
rigible Mock Turtle (Fausse-Tortue) rendered thus un- 
recognizable : 

"La maitresse etait une vieille tortue; nous I'appelions 

"Et pourquoi Tappeliez-vous chelonee, si ce n'etait pas 
son nom?" 

"Parcequ'on ne pouvait s'empecher de s'ecrier en la voy- 


ant: Quel long nez!" dit la Fausse-Tortue d'un ton fache; 
"vous etes vraiment bien bornee!" 

Then the Alice books have been employed as scenarios 
for controversy. A long bibliography of such satires as 
Alice in Kulturland or Malice in Blunderland would in- 
dicate as much. The tale of Alice's adventure down the 
rabbit-hole and through the looking-glass is still a very 
source book for withering anecdotes in the House of 
Commons or malignant cartoons in Punchy and even so 
sedate an orator as Woodrow Wilson, in speaking once of 
the ceaseless vigilance and aspiration required of a pro- 
gressive, compared himself to the Red Queen, who, you 
will remember, had to run as fast as her legs would carry 
her if she wanted so much as to stay in the same place. 

Plays have been wrought from the stuff of the Alice 
story. Some of these in London have been ambitious har- 
lequinades. Irene Vanbrugh, for instance, could tell you 
how Lewis Carroll once watched her play the Knave of 
Hearts. More often, they have been sleazy, amateurish 
ventures, an outlet for the exhibitionism of grown-ups, 
who would then have the effrontery to say they were do- 
ing it to please the kiddies. 

Even the symphony orchestras know Alice ; for the chat- 
ter of the flowers in the looking-glass garden, the thunder 
of ]abberwoc\y, the hum of the looking-glass insects and 
the wistfulness of the White Knight have all been caught 
up in the lovely music of Deems Taylor. The artists have 
discovered it; and the book has even undergone the some- 
times painful experience of being illustrated by Peter 

Indeed, everything has befallen Alice, except the last 
thing — psychoanalysis. At least the new psychologists 
have not explored this dream book nor pawed over the 
gentle, shrinking celibate who wrote it. They have not sub- 


jected to their disconcerting scrutiny the extraordinary 
contrast between the cautious, prissy pace of the man and 
the mad, gay gait of the tale he told. They have not em- 
barrassingly compared the Rev. Charles L. Dodgson with 
the immortal Lewis Carroll, two persons whom he him- 
self never liked to see together. 

One discrepancy between them has always been a sub- 
ject of amused reflection — a discrepancy not unfamiliar 
to a generation which knows that one of its own most 
hilarious clowns is (in what is sometimes confusedly call- 
ed real life) the professor of political economy at McGill 
University. It was the dual nature which, when Lewis 
Carroll was asked to contribute to a philosophical sym- 
posium, compelled the Mathematical Lecturer of Christ 
Church to reply coldly: 

And what mean all these mysteries to me 
Whose life is full of indices and surds .^ 

^^ + 7^ + 53 



It was the discrepancy which once proved so embarrass- 
ing to him in his relations with his Queen. Victoria had 
been so good as to be delighted with Mr. Dodgson's 
photographs, for you may be sure that the then Prince of 
Wales, when he visited Oxford, did not get away without 
some samples of Mr. Dodgson's adroitness with a camera. 
Victoria even went so far as to say that Albert would have 
appreciated them highly. Then, when Alice was publish- 
ed and won her heart, she graciously suggested that Mr. 
Dodgson dedicate his next book to her. Unfortunately for 
Her Majesty, his next book was a mathematical opus en- 
titled An Elementary Treatise on Determinants, 

But the discrepancy which would more deeply interest 


those given to a new research into old Hves hes in the fact 
that the man who wrote the most enchanting nonsense in 
the EngHsh language — a just description, surely, of the 
Alice books and The Hunting of the Snar\ — was a put- 
tering, fussy, fastidious, didactic bachelor, who was al- 
most painfully humorless in his relations with the grown- 
up world around him. You can see that much uncon- 
sciously revealed in the fatuous biography written a few 
months after Lewis Carroll's death in 1898 by his obliv- 
ious and too respectful nephew, who was awed by what 
he called the "purity and refinement" of his uncle's mind. 
That the shadow of a disappointment fell athwart the 
uncle's life, his nephew did detect; but he was the kind of 
biographer who would go on to say: "Those who loved 
him would not wish to lift the veil from these dead sanc- 

You must picture Lewis Carroll as living precisely in 
his quarters in the Tom Quad at Christ Church, all his 
life neatly pigeonholed, all the letters he wrote or received 
in thirty-seven years elaborately summarized and cata- 
logued, so that by the time he died there were more than 
98,000 cross references in the files of his correspondence. 
He was the kind of man who kept a diagram showing 
where you sat when you dined with him and what you 
ate, lest he serve you the same dish when you came again. 
He was the kind of man who, when an issue of Jabber- 
tvoc\y, the school paper of a Boston seminary, published 
a coarse anecdote from Washington's Diary, wrote to Bos- 
ton a solemn rebuke of such indelicacy. He was the kind 
of man who gravely stipulated that no illustrations for a 
book of his be drawn on Sunday and who could indite the 
following reproach to a friend of his : 

After changing my mind several times, I have at last de- 


cided to venture to ask a favour of you, and to trust that you 
will not misinterpret my motives in doing so. 

The favour I would ask is, that you will not tell me any 
more stories, such as you did on Friday, of remarks which 
children are said to have made on very sacred subjects — re- 
marks which most people would recognize as irreverent, if 
made by grown-up people, but which are assumed to be inno- 
cent when made by children who are unconscious of any ir- 
reverence, the strange conclusion being drawn that they are 
therefore innocent when repeated by a grown-up person. 

The misinterpretation I would guard against is your sup- 
posing that I regard such repetition as always wrong in any 
grown-up person. Let me assure you that I do not so regard 
it. I am always willing to believe that those who repeat such 
stories differ wholly from myself in their views of what is, 
and what is not, fitting treatment of sacred things, and I fully 
recognize that what would certainly be wrong in me, is not 
necessarily so in them. 

So I simply ask it as a personal favour to myself. The hear- 
ing of that anecdote gave me so much pain, and spoiled so 
much the pleasure of my tiny dinner-party, that I feel sure 
you will kindly spare me such in future. 

Above all he was the kind of man who, in publishing 
his Pillotv Problems (part of his series of Curiosa Math- 
ematica) recommended these exercises in mental arith- 
metic not only as an agreeable diversion for a sleepless 
couch but, more especially, as a way of driving out the 
skeptical thoughts, the blasphemous thoughts, and "the 
unholy thoughts, which torture with their hateful pres- 
ence the fancy that would fain be pure." 

And yet in all the anthology of the gentlest art compiled 
by Mr. Lucas, there are no letters more charming or more 
frivolous than those which Lewis Carroll wrote to any one 
of the little girls in whose presence only he was a truly 
free spirit and at whose courts he was happy to play jester 


all his days in the land. Calverley, Ruskin, Millais, Tenny- 
son, the Rossettis, Ellen Terry, these pass by in the long 
procession o£ his friends; but the greater part of his 
thought and his genius and his devotion was given to the 
children who one by one succeeded Alice Liddell in the 
garden of his friendship. He met them in railway car- 
riages (for he always carried a few puzzles in his pocket 
against such chance encounters) and he scraped acquaint- 
ance with them on the beach, being well supplied always 
with safety pins in case they wanted to go in wading. His 
letters to them would run like this : 

November 30, 1879 
I have been awfully busy, and IVe had to write heaps of 
letters — wheelbarrows full, almost. And it tires me so that 
generally I go to bed again the next minute after I get up: 
and sometimes I go to bed again a minute before I get up! 
Did you Qver hear of any one being so tired as that? . . . 

Or like this: 

December i(y^ 1886 
My dear E , — Though rushing, rapid rivers roar be- 
tween us (if you refer to the map of England, I think you'll 
find that to be correct), we still remember each other, and 
feel a sort of shivery affection for each other. . . . 

Or like this: 

December 27, 1873 
My dear Gaynor, — My name is spelt with a "G," that is 
to say "Dodgson!' Any one who spells it the same as that 
wretch (I mean of course the Chairman of Committees in 
the House of Commons) offends me deeply, and jor everl It 
is a thing I can forget, but never can forgive! If you do it 
again, I shall call you " 'aynor." Could you live happy with 
such a name? 


As to dancing, my dear, I never dance, unless I am allowed 
to do it in my own peculiar way. There is no use trying to de- 
scribe it: it has to be seen to be believed. The last house I 
tried it in, the floor broke through. But then it was a poor sort 
of floor — the beams were only six inches thick, hardly worth 
calling beams at all; stone arches are much more sensible, 
when any dancing, of my peculiar \ind, is to be done. Did 
you ever see the Rhinoceros and the Hippopotamus, at the 
Zoological Gardens, trying to dance a minuet together? It is 
a touching sight. 

Give any message from me to Amy that you think will be 
most likely to surprise her, and, believe me. 

Your affectionate friend, 

Lewis Carroll 

Lewis Carroirs case was stated in his own words in one 
comment on Alice. He wrote : 

"The why of this book cannot, and need not, be put in- 
to words. Those for whom a child's mind is a sealed book, 
and who 3ee no divinity in a child's smile would read such 
words in vain; while for any one who has ever loved one 
true child, no words are needed. For he will have known 
the awe that falls on one in the presence of a spirit fresh 
from God's hands, on whom no shadow of sin, and but 
the outermost fringe of the shadow of sorrow, has yet 
fallen; he will have felt the bitter contrast between the 
selfishness that spoils his best deeds and the life that is but 
an overflowing love. For I think a child's first attitude to 
the world is a simple love for all living things. And he 
will have learned that the best work a man can do is when 
he works for love's sake only, with no thought of fame or 
gain or earthly reward. No deed of ours, I suppose, on this 
side of the grave, is really unselfish. Yet if one can put 
forth all one's powers in a task where nothing of reward is 
hoped for but a little child's whispered thanks and the 


airy touch of a little child's pure lips, one seems to come 
somewhere near to this." 

The discrepancy between that solemn dedication and 
the irresponsible laughter of the book it referred to would, 
I fear, arouse the most animated curiosity in the clinic of 
a Dr. Edward Hiram Reede or the library of a Lytton 
Strachey. They can be pardoned an acute interest in the 
inner springs of any fellow man who has fallen into think- 
ing of all life as a process of contamination and who, as 
Newman said of young Hurrell Froude at Oxford, has 
"a high, severe idea of the intrinsic excellence of virginity." 
But those of us whose own memories of childhood are in- 
extricably interwoven with all the gay tapestry of Alice in 
Wonderland would rather leave unexplored the shy, re- 
treating man who left so much bubbling laughter in his 
legacy to the world. 

Alexander Woollcott 

A »»»»»»»»»»»»»««««««««««««« A 
















I Alice's Adventures I 




V »»»»»»»»»»»»»««««««««««««« V 

All in the golden afternoon 

Full leisurely we glide; 
For both our oars, with little skill, 

By little arms are plied, 
While little hands make vain pretence 

Our wanderings to guide. 

Ah, cruel Three! In such an hour, 
Beneath such dreamy weather. 

To beg a tale o£ breath too weak 
To stir the tiniest feather! 

Yet what can one poor voice avail 
Against three tongues together? 

Imperious Prima flashes forth 

Her edict "to begin it": 
In gentler tones Secunda hopes 

"There will be nonsense in it!" 
While Tertia interrupts the tale 

Not more than once a minute. 

Anon, to sudden silence won. 

In fancy they pursue 
The dream-child moving through a land 

Of wonders wild and new. 
In friendly chat with bird or beast — 

And half believe it true. 


And ever, as the story drained 

The wells of fancy dry. 
And faintly strove that weary one 

To put the subject by, 
"The rest next time — " "It is next time!" 

The happy voices cry. 

Thus grew the tale of Wonderland: 

Thus slowly, one by one, 
Its quaint events were hammered out — 

And now the tale is done. 
And home we steer, a merry crew. 

Beneath the setting sun. 

Alice! A childish story take. 

And, with a gentle hand. 
Lay it where Childhood's dreams are twined 

In Memory's mystic band. 
Like pilgrim's wither'd wreath of flowers 

Pluck'd in a far-oflf land. 



[from a fairy to a child] 

Lady dear, if Fairies may 

For a moment lay aside 
Cunning tricks and elfish play, 

'Tis at happy Christmas-tide. 

We have heard the children say — 
Gentle children, whom we love — 

Long ago, on Christmas Day, 
Came a message from above. 

Still, as Christmas-tide come round, 
They remember it again — 

Echo still the joyful sound 

"Peace on earth, good- will to men!" 

Yet the hearts must childlike be 
Where such heavenly guests abide; 

Unto children, in their glee, 
All the year is Christmas-tide! 

Thus, forgetting tricks and play 
For a moment. Lady dear. 

We would wish you, if we may, 
Merry Christmas, glad New Year! 

Christmas, 1867. 


Chapter I 

Down the Rabbit-Hole 

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her 
sister on the bank and of having nothing to do: once or 
twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, 
but it had no pictures or conversations in it, "and what is 
the use of a book," thought AUce, "without pictures or 

So she was considering, in her own mind (as well as 
she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and 
stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain 
would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the 


i8 Alice's adventures in wonderland 

daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes 
ran close by her. 

There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did 
Alice thing it so very much out of the way to hear the 
Rabbit say to itself "Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too 
late!" (when she thought it over afterwards it occurred 
to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the 
time it all seemed quite natural) ; but, when the Rabbit 
actually too\ a watch out of its waistcoat-pocJ^et^ and 
looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her 
feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never be- 
fore seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a 
watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she 
ran across the field after it, and was just in time to see it 
pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge. 

In another moment down went Alice after it, never 
once considering how in the world she was to get out 

The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some 
way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that 
Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself 
before she found herself falling down what seemed to be 
a very deep well. 

Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, 
for she had plenty of time as she went down to look 
about her, and to wonder what was going to happen next. 
First, she tried to look down and make out what she was 
coming to, but it was too dark to see anything: then she 
looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they were 
filled with cupboards and book-shelves: here and there 
she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs. She took 
down a jar from one of the shelves as she passed: it was 
labeled "ORANGE MARMALADE" but to her great 
disappointment it was empty: she did not like to drop 


the jar, for fear of killing somebody underneath, so man- 
aged to put it into one of the cupboards as she fell past it. 

"Well!" thought AHce to herself. "After such a fall as 
this, I shall think nothing of tumbling down-stairs! How 
brave they'll all think me at home! Why, I wouldn't say 
anything about it, even if I fell off the top of the house!" 
(Which was very likely true.) 

Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to 
an end? "I wonder how many miles I've fallen by this 
time?" she said aloud. "I must be getting somewhere near 
the centre of the earth. Let me see: that would be four 
thousand miles down, I think — " (for, you see, Alice had 
learnt several things of this sort in her lessons in the 
school-room, and though this was not a very good oppor- 
tunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was no 
one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over) 
" — yes, that's about the right distance — but then I wonder 
what Latitude or Longitude I've got to?" (Alice had not 
the slightest idea what Latitude was, or Longitude either, 
but she thought they were nice grand words to say.) 

Presently she began again. "I wonder if I shall fall right 
through the earth! How funny it'll seem to come out 
among the people that walk with their heads downwards! 
The antipathies, I think — " (she was rather glad there 
was no one listening, this time, as it didn't sound at all 
the right word) " — but I shall have to ask them what the 
name of the country is, you know. Please, Ma'am, is this 
New Zealand? Or Australia?" (and she tried to curtsey 
as she spoke — fancy, curtseying as you're falling through 
the air! Do you think you could manage it?) "And what 
an ignorant little girl she'll think me for asking! No, it'll 
never do to ask: perhaps I shall see it written up some- 

Down, down, down. There was nothing else to do, so 


Alice soon began talking again. "Dinah'll miss me very 
much to-night, I should think!" (Dinah was the cat.) "I 
hope they'll remember her saucer of milk at tea-time. 
Dinah, my dear! I wish you were down here with me! 
There are no mice in the air, I'm afraid, but you might 
catch a bat, and that's very like a mouse, you know. But 
do cats eat bats, I wonder?" And here Alice began to get 
rather sleepy, and went on saying to herself, in a dreamy 
sort of way, "Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?" and 
sometimes "Do bats eat cats?" for, you see, as she couldn't 
answer either question, it didn't much matter which way 
she put it. She felt that she was dozing oflf, and had just 
begun to dream that she was walking hand in hand with 
Dinah, and was saying to her, very earnestly, "Now, Di- 
nah, tell me the truth: did you ever eat a bat?" when sud- 
denly, thump! thump! down she came upon a heap of 
sticks and dry leaves, and the fall was over. 

Alice was not a bit hurt, and she jumped up on to her 
feet in a moment : she looked up, but it was all dark over- 
head : before her was another long passage, and the White 
Rabbit was still in sight, hurrying down it. There was not 
a moment to be lost : away went Alice like the wind, and 
was just in time to hear it say, as it turned a corner, "Oh 
my ears and whiskers, how late it's getting!" She was 
close behind it when she turned the corner, but the Rabbit 
was no longer to be seen : she found herself in a long, low 
hall, which was lit up by a row of lamps hanging from the 

There were doors all round the hall, but they were all 
locked; and when Alice had been all the way down one 
side and up the other, trying every door, she walked sadly 
down the middle, wondering how she was ever to get out 


Suddenly she came upon a little three-legged table, all 
made o£ solid glass: there was nothing on it but a tiny 
golden key, and Alice's first idea was that this might be- 
long to one of the doors of the hall; but, alas! either the 
locks were too large, or the key was too small, but at any 
rate it would not open any of them. However, on the sec- 


end time round, she came upon a low curtain she had not 
noticed before, and behind it was a little door about fifteen 
inches high : she tried the little golden key in the lock, and 
to her great delight it fitted! 

Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small 
passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt down 
and looked along the passage into the loveliest garden 
you ever saw. How she longed to get out of that dark hall, 
and wander about among those beds of bright flowers 
and those cool fountains, but she could not even get her 
head through the doorway; "and even if my head would 

22 Alice's adventures in wonderland 

go through," thought poor AUce, "it would be of very 
Httle use without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I could 
shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if I only knew 
how to begin." For, you see, so many out-of-the-way 
things had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think 
that very few things indeed were really impossible. 

There seemed to be no use in waiting by the little door, 
so she went back to the table, half hoping she might find 
another key on it, or at any rate a book of rules for shut- 
ting people up like telescopes : this time she found a little 
bottle on it ("which certainly was not here before," said 
Alice), and tied around the neck of the bottle was a paper 
label, with the words "DRINK ME" beautifully printed 
on it in large letters. 

It was all very well to say "Drink me," but the wise 
little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry. "No, I'll 
look first," she said, "and see whether it's marked 'poison 
or not"; for she had read several nice little stories about 
children who had got burnt, and eaten up by wild beasts, 
and other unpleasant things, all because they would not 
remember the simple rules their friends had taught them : 
such as, that a red-hot poker will burn you if you hold it 
too long; and that, if you cut your finger very deeply with 
a knife, it usually bleeds; and she had never forgotten 
th?t, if you drink much from a bottle marked "poison," it 
is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later. 

However, this bottle was not marked "poison," so Alice 
ventured to taste it, and, finding it very nice (it had, in 
fact, a sort of mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pine- 
apple, roast turkey, toffy, and hot buttered toast), she very 
soon finished it off. 

# * * . # 

# # # # 


"What a curious feeling!" said Alice. "I must be shut- 
ing up like a telescope!" 

And so it was indeed: she was now only ten inches 
high, and her face brightened up at the thought that she 
was now the right size for going through the little door 
into that lovely garden. First, however, she waited for a 

few minutes to see if she was going to shrink any further : 
she felt a little nervous about this; "for it might end, you 
know," said Alice to herself, "in my going out altogether, 
like a candle. I wonder what I should be like then?" And 
she tried to fancy what the flame of a candle looks like af- 
ter the candle is blov^n out, for she could not remember 
ever having seen such a thing. 
After a while, finding that nothing more happened, she 


decided on going into the garden at once; but, alas for 
poor Alice! when she got to the door, she found she had 
forgotten the little golden key, and when she went back 
to the table for it, she found she could not possibly reach 
it: she could see it quite plainly through the glass, and she 
tried her best to climb up one of the legs of the table, but 
it was too slippery; and when she had tired herself out 
with trying, the poor little thing sat down and cried. 

"Come, there's no use in crying like that!" said Alice to 
herself rather sharply. "I advise you to leave off this min- 
ute!" She generally gave herself very good advice (though 
she very seldom followed it), and sometimes she scolded 
herself so severely as to bring tears into her eyes; and once 
she remembered trying to box her own ears for having 
cheated herself in a game of croquet she was playing 
against herseh, for this curious child was very fond of pre- 
tending to be two people. "But it's no use now," thought 
poor Alice, "to pretend to be two people! Why, there's 
hardly enough of me left to make one respectable per- 

Soon her eye fell on a little glass box that was lying un- 
der the table: she opened it, and found in it a very small 
cake, on which the words "EAT ME" were beautifully 
marked in currants. "Well, Ell eat it," said Alice, "and 
if it makes me grow larger, I can reach the key; and if it 
makes me grow smaller, I can creep under the door: so 
either way I'll get into the garden, and I don't care which 

She ate a little bit, and said anxiously to herself "Which 
way? Which way?", holding her hand on the top of her 
head to feel which way it was growing; and she was 
quite surprised to find that she remained the same size. 
To be sure, this is what generally happens when one eats 
cake; but Alice had got so much into the way of expecting 


nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen, that it seem- 
ed quite dull and stupid for life to go on in the common 
So she set to work, and very soon finished oflE the cake. 



Chapter II 

The Pool of Tears 

"CuRiousER and curious- 
er!" cried Alice (she was so 
much surprised, that for the 
moment she quite forgot 
how to speak good Eng- 
lish). "Now I'm opening 
out like the largest telescope 
that ever was! Good-bye, 
feet!" (for when she looked 
down at her feet, they seem- 
ed to be almost out of sight, 
they were getting so far 
off). "Oh, my poor little 
feet, I wonder who will put 
on your shoes and stockings 
for you now, dears? I'm 
sure / sha'n't be able! I shall 
be a great deal too far off to 
trouble myself about you: 
you must manage the best 
way you can — but I must 
be kind to them," thought 
Alice, "or perhaps they 
won't walk the way I want to go! Let me see. I'll give 
them a new pair of boots every Christmas." 

And she went on planning to herself how she would 
manage it. "They must go by the carrier," she thought; 
"and how funny it'll seem, sending presents to one's own 
feet! And how odd the directions will look! 



Alice s Right Foot, Esq. 

near the Fender, 

{with Alice's love). 

Oh dear, what nonsense I'm talking!" 

Just at this moment her head struck against the roof of 
the hall: in fact she was now rather more than nine feet 
high, and she at once took up the little golden key and 
hurried off to the garden door. 

Poor Alice! It was as much as she could do, lying down 
on one side, to look through into the garden with one eye; 
but to get through was more hopeless than ever: she sat 
down and began to cry again. 

"You ought to be ashamed of yourself," said Alice, "a 
great girl like you," (she might well say this), "to go on 
crying in this way! Stop this moment, I tell you!" But she 
went on all the same, shedding gallons of tears, until there 
was a large pool around her, about four inches deep, and 
reaching half down the hall. 

After a time she heard a little pattering of feet in the dis- 
tance, and she hastily dried her eyes to see what was com- 
ing. It was the White Rabbit returning, splendidly dress- 
ed, with a pair of white kid-gloves in one hand and a large 
fan in the other : he came trotting along in a great hurry, 
muttering to himself, as he came, "Oh! The Duchess, the 
Duchess! Oh! Wo' n't she be savage if I've kept her wait- 
ing!" Alice felt so desperate that she was ready to ask help 
of any one: so, when the Rabbit came near her, she be- 
gan, in a low, timid voice, "If you please, Sir — " The Rab- 
bit started violently, dropped the white kid-gloves and the 
fan, and scurried away into the darkness as hard as he 
could go. 

Alice took up the fan and gloves, and, as the hall was 



very hot, she kept fanning herself all the time she went on 
talking. "Dear, dear! How queer everything is to-day! 
And yesterday things went on just as usual. I wonder if 
I've changed in the night .^^ Let me think: was I the same 
when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remem- 
ber feeling a little diiflferent. But if I'm not the same, the 
next question is *Who in the world am I?' Ah, that's the 
great puzzle!" And she began thinking over all the chil- 
dren she knew that were of the same age as herself, to see 
if she could have been changed for any of them. 


"I'm sure I'm not Ada," she said, "for her hair goes in 
such long ringlets, and mine doesn't go in ringlets at all; 
and I'm sure I ca'n't be Mabel, for I know all sorts of 
things, and she, oh, she knows such a very little! Besides, 
she's she, and Vm I, and — oh dear, how puzzling it all 
is! I'll try if I know all the things I used to know. Let me 
see : four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen, 
and four times seven is — oh dear! I shall never get to 
twenty at that rate! However, the Multiplication-Table 
doesn't signify : let's try Geography. London is the capital 
of Paris, and Paris is the capital of Rome, and Rome — no, 
that's all wrong, I'm certain! I must have been changed 
for Mabel! I'll try and say 'How doth the little — "/ and 
she crossed her hands on her lap as if she were saying les- 
sons, and began to repeat it, but her voice sounded hoarse 
and strange, and the words did not come the same as they 
used to do : — 

"How doth the little crocodile 

Improve his shining tail, 
And pour the waters of the Nile 

On every golden scale! 

''How cheerfully he seems to grin, 
How neatly spreads his claws, 
And welcomes little fishes in. 
With gently smiling jaws! 

"Fm sure those are not the right words," said poor 
Alice, and her eyes filled with tears again as she went on, 
"I must be Mabel after all, and I shall have to go and live 
in that poky little house, and have next to no toys to play 
with, and oh, ever so many lessons to learn! No, I've made 
up my mind about it: il I'm Mabel, I'll stay down here! 
It'll be no use their putting their heads down and saying 


*Come up again, dear!' I shall only lcx)k up and say 'Who 
am I, then? Tell me that first, and then, if I like being 
that person, I'll come up: if not, I'll stay down here till 
I'm somebody else' — but, oh dear!" cried Alice, with a 
sudden burst of tears, "I do wish they would put their 
heads down! I am so very tired of being all alone here!" 

As she said this she looked down at her hands, and was 
surprised to see that she had put on one of the Rabbit's 
little white kid-gloves while she was talking. "How can 
I have done that?" she thought. "I must be growing small 
again." She got up and went to the table to measure her 
self by it, and found that, as nearly as she could guess, she 
was now about two feet high, and was going on shrink- 
ing rapidly : she soon found out that the cause of this was 
the fan she was holding, and she dropped it hastily, just 
in time to save herself from shrinking away altogether. 

"That was a narrow escape!" said Alice, a good deal 
frightened at the sudden change, but very glad to find 
herself still in existence. "And now for the garden!" And 
she ran with all speed back to the little door; but, alas! 
the little door was shut again, and the little golden key 
was lying on the glass table as before, "and things are 
worse than ever," thought the poor child, "for I never was 
so small as this before, never! And I declare it's too bad, 
that it is!" 

As she said these words her foot slipped, and in an- 
other moment, splash! she was up to her chin in salt- 
water. Her first idea was that she had somehow fallen 
into the sea, "and in that case I can go back by railway," 
she said to herself. (Alice had been to the seaside once in 
her life, and had come to the general conclusion that 
wherever you go to on the English coast, you find a num- 
ber of bathing-machines in the sea, some children digging 
in the sand with wooden spades, then a row of lodging- 


houses, and behind them a railway station.) However, 
she soon made out that she was in the pool of tears which 
she had wept when she was nine feet high. 

"I wish I hadn't cried so much!" said Alice, as she 
swam about, trying to find her way out. "I shall be pun- 
ished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own 


tears! That will be a queer thing, to be sure! However, 
everything is queer to-day." 

Just then she heard something splashing about in the 
pool a little way off, and she swam nearer to make out 
what it was: at first she thought it must be a walrus or 
hippopotamus, but then she remembered how small she 
was now, and she soon made out that it was only a mouse, 
that had slipped in like herself. 

"Would it be of any use, now," thought Alice, "to 
speak to this mouse? Everything is so out-of-the-way 
down here, that I should think very likely it can talk : at 
any rate, there's no harm in trying." So she began: "O 
Mouse, do you know the way out of this pool ? I am very 
tired of swimming about here, O Mouse!" (Alice thought 


this must be the right way of speaking to a mouse: she 
had never done such a thing before, but she remembered 
having seen, in her brother's Latin Grammar, "A mouse 
— of a mouse — to a mouse — a mouse — O mouse!") The 
mouse looked at her rather inquisitively, and seemed to 
her to wink with one of its little eyes, but it said nothing. 

"Perhaps it doesn't understand English," thought Alice. 
"I daresay it's a French mouse, come over with William 
the Conqueror." (For, with all her knowledge of history, 
Alice had no very clear notion how long ago anything had 
happened.) So she began again: "Ou est ma chatte?" 
which was the first sentence in her French lesson-book. 
The Mouse gave a sudden leap out of the water, and 
seemed to quiver all over with fright. "Oh, I beg your 
pardon!" cried Alice hastily, afraid that she had hurt the 
poor animal's feelings. "I quite forgot you didn't like 

"Not like cats!" cried the Mouse in a shrill passionate 
voice. "Would you like cats, if you were me?" 


"Well, perhaps not," said Alice in a soothing tone: 
"don't be angry about it. And yet I wish I could show you 
our cat Dinah. I think you'd take a fancy to cats, if you 
could only see her. She is such a dear quiet thing," Alice 
went on, half to herself, as she swam lazily about in the 
pool, "and she sits purring so nicely by the fire, licking her 
paws and washing her face — and she is such a nice soft 
thing to nurse — and she's such a capital one for catching 
mice — oh, I beg your pardon!" cried Alice again, for this 
time the Mouse was bristling all over, and she felt certain 
it must be really offended. "We wo'n't talk about her any 
more if you'd rather not." 

"We, indeed!" cried the Mouse, who was trembling 
down to the end of its tail. "As if / would talk on such a 
subject! Our family always hated cats: nasty, low, vulgar 
things! Don't let me hear the name again!" 

"I wo'n't indeed!" said Alice, in a great hurry to change 
the subject of conversation. "Are you — are you fond — of — 
of dogs?" The Mouse did not answer, so Alice went on 
eagerly: "There is such a nice little dog, near our house, I 
should like to show you! A little bright-eyed terrier, you 
know, with oh, such long curly brown hair! And it'll 
fetch things when you throw them, and it'll sit up and 
beg for its dinner, and all sorts of things — I ca'n't remem- 
ber half of them — and it belongs to a farmer, you know, 
and he says it's so useful, it's worth a hundred pounds! 
He says it kills all the rats and — oh dear!" cried Alice in a 
sorrowful tone. "I'm afraid I've offended it again!" For 
the Mouse was swimming away from her as hard as it 
could go, and making quite a commotion in the pool as it 

So she called softly after it, "Mouse dear! Do come back 
again, and we wo'n't talk about cats, or dogs either, if you 
don't like them!" When the Mouse heard this, it turned 


round and swam slowly back to her: its face was quite 
pale (with passion, Alice thought), and it said, in a low 
trembling voice, "Let us get to the shore, and then I'll 
tell you my history, and you'll understand why it is I hate 
cats and dogs." 

It was high time to go, for the pool was getting quite 
crowded with the birds and animals that had fallen into 
it: there was a Duck and a Dodo, a Lory and an Eaglet, 
and several other curious creatures. Alice led the way, and 
the whole party swam to the shore. 

Chapter III 

A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale 

They were indeed a queer-looking party that assembled 
on the bank — the birds with draggled feathers, the ani- 
mals with their fur clinging close to them, and all drip- 
ping wet, cross, and uncomfortable. 

The first question of course was, how to get dry again : 
they had a consultation about this, and after a few min- 
utes it seemed quite natural to Alice to find herself talking 
familiarly with them, as if she had known them all her 
life. Indeed, she had quite a long argument with the Lory, 


36 Alice's adventures in wonderland 

who at last turned sulky, and would only say, "Fm older 
than you, and must know better." And this Alice would 
not allow, without knowing how old it was, and as the 
Lory positively refused to tell its age, there was no more 
to be said. 

At last the Mouse, who seemed to be a person of some 
authority among them, called out "Sit down, all of you, 
and listen to me! Fll soon make you dry enough!" They 
all sat down at once, in a large ring, with the Mouse in 
the middle. Alice kept her eyes anxiously fixed on it, for 
she felt sure she would catch a bad cold if she did not get 
dry very soon. 

"Ahem!" said the Mouse with an important air. "Are 
you all ready ? This is the driest thing I know. Silence all 
round, if you please! 'William the Conqueror, whose 
cause was favoured by the pope, was soon submitted to 
by the English, who wanted leaders, and had been of late 
much accustomed to usurpation and conquest. Edwin and 
Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria 

"Ugh!" said the Lory, with a shiver. 

"I beg your pardon!" said the Mouse, frowning, but 
very politely. "Did you speak?" 

"Not I!" said the Lory, hastily. 

"I thought you did," said the Mouse. "I proceed. 'Ed- 
win and Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria, 
declared for him; and even Stigand, the patriotic arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, found it advisable 

"Found what?'' said the Duck. 

"Found ///' the Mouse replied rather crossly: "of course 
you know what *it' means." 

"I know what 'it' means well enough, when / find a 
thing," said the Duck: "it's generally a frog, or a worm. 
The question is, what did the archbishop find?" 

The Mouse did not notice this question, but hurriedly 


went on, " ' — found it advisable to go with Edgar Athel- 
ing to meet William and offer him the crown. William's 
conduct at first was moderate. But the insolence o£ his 

Normans ' How are you getting on now, my dear?" 

it continued, turning to Alice as it spoke. 

"As wet as ever," said Alice in a melancholy tone: "it 
doesn't seem to dry me at all." 

"In that case," said the Dodo solemnly, rising to its feet, 
"I move that the meeting adjourn, for the immediate 
adoption of more energetic remedies " 

"Speak English!" said the Eaglet. "I don't know the 
meaning of half those long words, and, what's more, I 
don't believe you do either!" And the Eaglet bent down 
its head to hide a smile: some of the other birds tittered 

"What I was going to say," said the Dodo in an offend- 
ed tone, "was, that the best thing to get us dry would be a 

"What is a Caucus-race?" said Alice; not that she much 
wanted to know, but the Dodo had paused as if it thought 
that somebody ought to speak, and no one else seemed in- 
clined to say anything. 

"Why," said the Dodo, "the best way to explain it is to 
do it." (And, as you might like to try the thing yourself 
some winter-day, I will tell you how the Dodo managed 


First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, 

("the exact shape doesn't matter," it said,) and then all 
the party were placed along the course, here and there. 
There was no "One, two, three, and away!" but they be- 
gan running when they liked, and left off when they 
liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was 
over. However, when they had been running half an hour 
or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called 

38 Alice's adventures in wonderland 

out "The race is over!" and they all crowded round it, 
panting, and asking "But who has won?" 

This question the Dodo could not answer without a 
great deal of thought, and it stood for a long time with 
one finger pressed upon its forehead (the position in 
which you usually see Shakespeare, in the pictures of 
him), while the rest waited in silence. At last the Dodo 
said ''Everybody has won, and all must have prizes." 

"But who is to give the prizes?" quite a chorus of voices 

"Why, she, of course," said the Dodo, pointing to Alice 
with one finger; and the whole party at once crowded 
round her, calling out, in a confused way, "Prizes! 

Alice had no idea what to do, and in despair she put her 
hand in her pocket, and pulled out a box of comfits (luck- 
ily the salt-water had not got into it), and handed them 
round as prizes. There was exactly one a-piece, all round. 

"But she must have a prize herself, you know," said the 

"Of course," the Dodo replied very gravely. "What else 
have you got in your pocket?" it went on, turning to Alice. 

"Only a thimble," said Alice sadly. 

"Hand it over here," said the Dodo. 

Then they all crowded round her once more, while the 
Dodo solemnly presented the thimble, saying "We beg 
your acceptance of this elegant thimble"; and, when it 
had finished this short speech, they all cheered. 

Alice thought the whole thing very absurd, but they all 
looked so grave that she did not dare to laugh ; and, as she 
could not think of anything to say, she simply bowed, and 
took the thimble, looking as solemn as she could. 

The next thing was to eat the comfits : this caused some 
noise and confusion, as the large birds complained that 




they could not taste theirs, and the small ones choked and 
had to be patted on the back. However, it was over at last, 
and they sat down again in a ring, and begged the Mouse 
to tell them something more. 

"You promised to tell me your history, you know," said 
Alice, "and why it is you hate — C and D," she added in a 
whisper, half afraid that it would be oflfended again. 

"Mine is a long and a sad tale!" said the Mouse, turning 
to Alice, and sighing. 

"It is a long tail, certainly," said Alice, looking down 
with wonder at the Mouse's tail; "but why do you call it 
sad?" And she kept on puzzling about it while the Mouse 



was speaking, so that her idea of the tale was something 
like this: — "Fury said to 

a mouse, That 
he met in the 
house, 'Let 
us both go 
to law: / 
will prose- 
cute you, — 
Come, ril 

take no de- 
nial: We 
must have 
the trial; 

For really 
this morn- 
ing I've 
to do.' 
Said the 
mouse to 
the cur, 

Such a 
trial, dear 
sir, With 
no jury 
or judge, 
be wast- 
ing our 
'I'll be 
I'll be 

you to 

"You are not attending!" said the Mouse to Alice, 
severely. "What are you thinking oiV 


"I beg your pardon," said Alice very humbly : "you had 
got to the fifth bend, I think?" 

"I had notV cried the Mouse, sharply and very angrily. 

"A knot!" said Alice, always ready to make herself use- 
ful, and looking anxiously about her. "Oh, do let me help 
to undo it!" 

"I shall do nothing of the sort," said the Mouse, getting 
up and walking away. "You insult me by talking such 

"I didn't mean it!" pleaded poor Alice. "But you're so 
easily offended, you know!" 

The Mouse only growled in reply. 

"Please come back, and finish your story!" Alice called 
after it. And the others all joined in chorus "Yes, please 
do!" But the Mouse only shook its head impatiently, and 
walked a little quicker. 

"What a pity it wouldn't stay!" sighed the Lory, as soon 
as it was quite out of sight. And an old Crab took the op- 
portunity of saying to her daughter "Ah, my dear! Let 
this be a lesson to you never to lose your temper!" "Hold 
your tongue, Ma!" said the young Crab, a little snappish- 
ly. "You're enough to try the patience of an oyster!" 

"I wish I had our Dinah here, I know I do!" said Alice 
aloud, addressing nobody in particular. ''Shed soon fetch 
it back!" 

"And who is Dinah, if I might venture to ask the ques- 
tion?" said the Lory. 

Alice replied eagerly, for she was always ready to talk 
about her pet: "Dinah's our cat. And she's such a capital 
one for catching mice, you ca'n't think! And oh, I wish 
you could see her after the birds! Why, she'll eat a little 
bird as soon as look at it!" 

This speech caused a remarkable sensation among the 
party. Some of the birds hurried off at once: one old Mag- 


pie began wrapping itself up very carefully, remarking 
"I really must be getting home: the night-air doesn't suit 
my throat!" And a Canary called out in a trembling voice, 
to its children, "Come away, my dears! It's high time you 
were all in bed!" On various pretexts they all moved off, 
and Alice was soon left alone. 

"I wish I hadn't mentioned Dinah!" she said to herself 
in a melancholy tone. "Nobody seems to like her, down 
here, and I'm sure she's the best cat in the world! Oh, my 
dear Dinah! I wonder if I shall ever see you any more!" 
And here poor Alice began to cry again, for she felt very 
lonely and low-spirited. In a little while, however, she 
again heard a little pattering of footsteps in the distance, 
and she looked up eagerly, half hoping that the Mouse 
had changed his mind, and was coming back to finish his 

Chapter IV 
The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill 

It was the White Rabbit, trotting slowly back again, and 
looking anxiously about as it went, as if it had lost some- 
thing; and she heard it muttering to itself, "The Duchess! 
The Duchess! Oh my dear paws! Oh my fur and whisk- 
ers! She'll get me executed, as sure as ferrets are ferrets! 
Where can I have dropped them, I wonder?" Alice 
guessed in a moment that it was looking for the fan and 
the pair of white kid-gloves, and she very good-naturedly 
began hunting about for them, but they were nowhere to 
be seen — everything seemed to have changed since her 
swim in the pool; and the great hall, with the glass table 
and the little door, had vanished completely. 


Very soon the Rabbit noticed Alice, as she went hunt- 
ing about, and called out to her, in an angry tone, "Why, 
Mary Ann, what are you doing out here? Run home this 
moment, and fetch me a pair of gloves and a fan! Quick, 
now!" And Alice was so much frightened that she ran 
off at once in the direction it pointed to, without trying to 
explain the mistake that it had made. 

"He took me for his housemaid," she said to herself as 
she ran. "How surprised he'll be when he finds out who 
I am! But I'd better take him his fan and gloves — that is, 
if I can find them." As she said this, she came upon a neat 
little house, on the door of which was a bright brass plate 
with the name "W. RABBIT" engraved upon it. She 
went in without knocking, and hurried upstairs, in great 
fear lest she should meet the real Mary Ann, and be 
turned out of the house before she had found the fan and 

"How queer it seems," Alice said to herself, "to be go- 
ing messages for a rabbit! I suppose Dinah'U be sending 
me on messages next!" and she began fancying the sort of 
thing that would happen: " *Miss Alice! Come here di- 
rectly, and get ready for your walk!' 'Coming in a min- 
ute, nurse! But I've got to watch this mouse-hole till 
Dinah comes back, and see that the mouse doesn't get 
out.' Only I don't think," Alice went on, "that they'd let 
Dinah stop in the house if it began ordering people about 
like that!" 

By this time she had found her way into a tidy little 
room with a table in the window, and on it (as she had 
hoped) a fan and two or three pairs of tiny white kid- 
gloves : she took up the fan and a pair of the gloves, and 
was just going to leave the room, when her eye fell upon 
a little bottle that stood near the looking-glass. There was 
no label this time with the words "DRINK ME," but nev- 


ertheless she uncorked it and put it to her Ups. "I know 
something interesting is sure to happen," she said to her- 
self, "whenever I eat or drink anything: so I'll just see 
what this bottle does. I do hope it'll make me grow large 
again, for really I'm quite tired of being such a tiny little 

It did so indeed, and much sooner than she had ex- 
pected: before she had drunk half the bottle, she found 
her head pressing against the ceiling, and had to stoop to 
save her neck from being broken. She hastily put down 
the bottle, saying to herself "That's quite enough — I 
hope I sha'n't grow any more — As it is, I ca'n't get out at 
the door — I do wish I hadn't drunk quite so much!" 

Alas! It was too late to wish that! She went on growing, 
and growing, and very soon had to kneel down on the 
floor: in another minute there was not even room for 
this, and she tried the effect of lying down with one elbow 
against the door, and the other arm curled round her 
head. Still she went on growing, and, as a last resource, 
she put one arm out of the window, and one foot up the 
chimney, and said to herself "Now I can do no more, 
whatever happens. What will become of me?" 

Luckily for Alice, the little magic bottle had now had 
its full effect, and she grew no larger: still it was very 
uncomfortable, and, as there seemed to be no sort of 
chance of her ever getting out of the room again, no won- 
der she felt unhappy. 

"It was much pleasanter at home," thought poor Alice, 
"when one wasn't always growing larger and smaller, and 
being ordered about by mice and rabbits. I almost wish I 
hadn't gone down that rabbit-hole — and yet — and yet — 
it's rather curious, you know, this sort of life! I do wonder 
what can have happened to me! When I used to read 
fairy tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened. 


and now here I am in the middle of one! There ought to 
be a book written about me, that there ought! And when 
I grow up, ril write one — but I'm grown up now," she 
added in a sorrowful tone: "at least there's no room to 
grow up any more here!' 
"But then," thought Alice, "shall I never get any older 


than I am now? That'll be a comfort, one way — never to 
be an old woman — but then — always to have lessons to 
learn! Oh, I shouldn't like that!" 

"Oh, you foolish Alice!" she answered herself. "How 
can you learn lessons in here? Why, there's hardly room 
for you, and no room at all for any lesson-books!" 

And so she went on, taking first one side and then the 
other, and making quite a conversation of it altogether; 
but after a few minutes she heard a voice outside, and 
stopped to listen. 

"Mary Ann! Mary Ann!" said the voice. "Fetch me my 
gloves this moment!" Then came a little pattering of feet 

46 Alice's adventures in wonderland 

on the stairs. Alice knew it was the Rabbit coming to look 
for her, and she trembled till she shook the house, quite 
forgetting that she was now about a thousand times as 
large as the Rabbit, and had no reason to be afraid of it. 


Presently the Rabbit came up to the door, and tried to 
open it; but, as the door opened inwards, and Alice's el- 
bow was pressed hard against it, that attempt proved a 
failure. Alice heard it say to itself "Then I'll go round and 
get in at the window." 

*'That you wo'n't!" thought Alice, and, after waiting till 
she fancied she heard the Rabbit just under the window, 
she suddenly spread out her hand, and made a snatch in 
the air. She did not get hold of anything, but she heard a 
little shriek and a fall, and a crash of broken glass, from 


which she concluded that it was just possible it had fallen 
into a cucumber-frame, or something of the sort. 

Next came an angry voice — the Rabbit's — "Pat! Pat! 
Where are you?" And then a voice she had never heard 
before, "Sure then I'm here! Digging for apples, yer 

"Digging for apples, indeed!" said the Rabbit angrily. 
"Here! Come help me out of thisV (Sounds of more 
broken glass.) 

"Now tell me, Pat, what's that in the window?" 

"Sure, it's an arm, yer honour!" (He pronounced it 
arrum. ) 

"An arm, you goose! Who ever saw one that size? 
Why, it fills the whole window!" 

"Sure, it does, yer honour: but it's an arm for all that." 

"Well, it's got no business there, at any rate: go and 
take it away!" 

There was a long silence after this, and Alice could 
only hear whispers now and then; such as "Sure, I don't 
like it, yer honour, at all, at all!" "Do as I tell you, you 
coward!" and at last she spread out her hand again, and 
made another snatch in the air. This time there were two 
little shrieks, and more sounds of broken glass. "What a 
number of cucumber-frames there must be!" thought 
Alice. "I wonder what they'll do next! As for pulling me 
out of the window, I only wish they could \ I'm sure / 
don't want to stay in here any longer!" 

She waited for some time without hearing anything 
more : at last came a rumbling of little cart-wheels, and the 
sound of a good many voices all talking together: she 
made out the words: "Where's the other ladder? — Why, 
I hadn't to bring but one. Bill's got the other — Bill! Fetch 
it here, lad! — Here, put 'em up at this corner — No, tie 'em 
together first — they don't reach half high enough yet — 

48 Alice's adventures in wonderland 

Oh, they'll do well enough. Don't be particular — Here, 
Bill! Catch hold of this rope — Will the roof bear? — Mind 
that loose slate — Oh, it's coming down! Heads below!" 
(a loud crash) — "Now, who did that? — It was Bill, I 
fancy — Who's to go down the chimney? — Nay, / sha'n't! 
You do it! — That I wo'n't, then! — Bill's got to go down — 
Here, Bill! The master says you've got to go down the 

"Oh! So Bill's got to come down the chimney, has he?" 
said Alice to herself. "Why, they seem to put everything 
upon Bill! I wouldn't be in Bill's place for a good deal; 
this fireplace is narrow, to be sure; but I thin\ I can kick 
a little!" 

She drew her foot as far down the chimney as she could, 
and waited till she heard a little animal (she couldn't 
guess of what sort it was) scratching and scrambling 
about in the chimney close above her: then, saying to 
herself "This is Bill," she gave one sharp kick, and waited 
to see what would happen next. 

The first thing she heard was a general chorus of 
"There goes Bill!" then the Rabbit's voice alone — "Catch 
him, you by the hedge!" then silence, and then another 
confusion of voices — "Hold up his head — Brandy now — 
Don't choke him — How was it, old fellow? What hap- 
pened to you? Tell us all about it!" 

Last came a little feeble, squeaking voice. ("That's 
Bill," thought Alice.) "Well, I hardly knov^— No more, 
thank ye; I'm better now — but I'm a deal too flustered to 
tell you — all I know is, something comes at me like a 
Jack-in-the-box, and up I goes like a sky-rocket!" 

"So you did, old fellow!" said the others. 

"We must burn the house down!" said the Rabbit's 
voice. And Alice called out, as loud as she could, "If you 
do, I'll set Dinah at you!" 


There was a dead silence in- 
stantly, and Alice thought to 
herself "I wonder what they 
will do next! I£ they had any 
sense, they'd take the roof off." 
After a minute or two they 
began moving about again, and 
Alice heard the Rabbit say "A 
barrowful will do, to begin 

"A barrowful of what}'' 
thought Alice. But she had not 
long to doubt, for the next mo- 
ment a shower of little pebbles 
came rattling in at the window, 
and some of them hit her in the 
face. "Fll put a stop to this," 
she said to herself, and shouted 
out "You'd better not do that 
again!" which produced an- 
other dead silence. 

Alice noticed, with some sur- 
prise, that the pebbles were all 
turning into little cakes as they 
lay on the floor, and a bright 
idea came into her head. "If I eat one of these cakes," she 
thought, "it's sure to make some change in my size; and, 
as it ca'n't possibly make me larger, it must make me 
smaller, I suppose." 

So she swallowed one of the cakes, and was delighted to 
find that she began shrinking directly. As soon as she was 
small enough to get through the door, she ran out of the 
house, and found quite a crowd of little animals and birds 
waiting outside. The poor little Lizard, Bill, was in the 


middle, being held up by two guinea-pigs, who were giv- 
ing it something out of a bottle. They all made a rush at 
Alice the moment she appeared; but she ran oflf as hard as 
she could, and soon found herself safe in a thick wood. 

"The first thing Fve got to do," said Alice to herself, as 
she wandered about in the wood, "is to grow to my right 
size again; and the second thing is to find my way into 
that lovely garden. I think that will be the best plan." 

It sounded an excellent plan, no doubt, and very neatly 
and simply arranged: the only difficulty was, that she had 
not the smallest idea how to set about it; and, while she 
was peering about anxiously among the trees, a little sharp 
bark just over her head made her look up in a great hurry. 

An enormous puppy was looking down at her with 
large round eyes, and feebly stretching out one paw, try- 
ing to touch her. "Poor little thing!" said Alice, in a coax- 
ing tone, and she tried hard to whistle to it; but she was 
terribly frightened all the time at the thought that it 
might be hungry, in which case it would be very likely to 
eat her up in spite of all her coaxing. 

Hardly knowing what she did, she picked up a little bit 
of stick, and held it out to the puppy: whereupon the 
puppy jumped into the air oflf all its feet at once, with a 
yelp of delight, and rushed at the stick, and made believe 
to worry it: then Alice dodged behind a great thistle, to 
keep herself from being run over; and, the moment she 
appeared on the other side, the puppy made another rush 
at the stick, and tumbled head over heels in its hurry to 
get hold of it: then Alice, thinking it was very like having 
a game of play with a cart-horse, and expecting every mo- 
ment to be trampled under its feet, ran round the thistle 
again: then the puppy began a series of short charges at 
the stick, running a very little way forwards each time and 


a long way back, and barking hoarsely all the while, till 
at last it sat down a good way off, panting, with its tongue 
hanging out o£ its mouth, and its great eyes half shut. 

This seemed to Alice a good opportunity for making 
her escape : so she set off at once, and ran till she was quite 
tired and out of breath, and till the puppy's bark sounded 
quite faint in the distance. 


"And yet what a dear little puppy it was!" said Alice, 
as she leant against a buttercup to rest herself, and fanned 
herself with one of the leaves. "I should have liked teach- 
ing it tricks very much, if — if I'd only been the right size 
to do it! Oh dear! I'd nearly forgotten that I've got to 
grow up again! Let me see — how is it to be managed? I 
suppose I ought to eat or drink something or other; but 
the great question is *What?' " 

The great question certainly was "What?" Alice looked 
all round her at the flowers and the blades of grass, but 
she could not see anything that looked like the right thing 
to eat or drink under the circumstances. There was a large 
mushroom growing near her, about the same height as 
herself; and, when she had looked under it, and on both 
sides of it, and behind it, it occurred to her that she might 
as well look and see what was on top of it. 

She stretched herself up on tiptoe, and peeped over the 
edge of the mushroom, and her eyes immediately met 
those of a large blue caterpillar, that was sitting on the top, 
with its arm folded, quietly smoking a long hookah, and 
taking not the smallest notice of her or of anything else. 

Chapter V 

Advice from a Caterpillar 

1 HE Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some 
time in silence : at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out 
of its mouth, and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice. 

"Who are you?'' said the Caterpillar. 

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversa- 
tion. Alice replied, rather shyly, "I — I hardly know. Sir, 
just at present — at least I know who I was when I got up 
this morning, but I think I must have been changed sev- 
eral times since then." 




"What do you mean by that?" said the Caterpillar, 
sternly. "Explain yourself!" 

"I ca'n't explain myself, I'm afraid, Sir," said Alice, "be- 
cause I'm not myself, you see." 

"I don't see," said the Caterpillar. 

"I'm afraid I ca'n't put it more clearly," Alice replied, 
very politely, "for I ca'n't understand it myself, to begin 
with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very 

"It isn't," said the Caterpillar. 

"Well, perhaps you haven't found it so yet," said Alice; 
"but when you have to turn into a chrysalis — you will 
some day, you know — and then after that into a butterfly, 
I should think you'll feel it a little queer, won't you?" 

"Not a bit," said the Caterpillar. 

"Well, perhaps your feelings may be different," said 
Alice: "all I know is, it would feel very queer to mey 

"You!" said the Caterpillar contemptuously. "Who are 

Which brought them back again to the beginning of 
the conversation. Alice felt a little irritated at the Cater- 
pillar's making such very short remarks, and she drew 
herself up and said, very gravely, "I think you ought to 
tell me who you are, first." 

"Why?" said the Caterpillar. 

Here was another puzzling question; and, as Alice 
could not think of any good reason, and the Caterpillar 
seemed to be in a very unpleasant state of mind, she 
turned away. 

"Come back!" the Caterpillar called after her. "I've 
something important to say!" 

This sounded promising, certainly. Alice turned and 
came back again. 

"Keep your temper," said the Caterpillar. 


"Is that all?" said Alice, swallowing down her anger as 
well as she could. 

"No/' said the Caterpillar. 

Alice thought she might as well wait, as she had noth- 
ing else to do, and perhaps after all it might tell her some- 
thing worth hearing. For some minutes it puffed away 
without speaking; but at last it unfolded its arms, took 
the hookah out of its mouth again, and said "So you think 
you're changed, do you?" 

"I'm afraid I am. Sir," said Alice. "I ca'n't remember 
things as I used — and I don't keep the same size for ten 
minutes together!" 

"Ca'n't remember what things?" said the Caterpillar. 

"Well, I've tried to say 'How doth the little busy bee* 
but it all came different!" Alice replied in a very melan- 
choly voice. 

"Repeat 'You are old, Father William,' " said the Cater- 

Alice folded her hands, and began: — 

56 Alice's adventures in wonderland 

**You are old, Father William'' the young man said 
*'And your hair has become very white; 
And yet you incessantly stand on your head — 
Do you thin\, at your age, it is right?'' 

"In my youth," Father William replied to his son, 
'7 feared it might injure the brain; 
But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none. 
Why, I do it again and again," 

You are old," said the youth, ''as I mentioned before. 
And have grown most uncommonly fat; 

Yet you turned a bac\-somersault in at the door — 
Fray, what is the reason of that?" 

In my youth" said the sage, as he shoo\ his grey loc\s, 

'7 \ept all my limbs very supple 
By the use of this ointment — one shilling the box — 

Allow me to sell you a couple?" 



You are old" said the youth, '* and your jaws are too wea\ 

For anything tougher than suet; 
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the bea\ — 

Fray, how did you manage to do it?" 

In my youth" said his father, "I too\ to the law, 

And argued each case with my wife; 
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw 

Has lasted the rest of my life" 

You are old," said the youth, *'one would hardly suppose 

That your eye was as steady as ever; 
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose — 

What made you so awfully clever?" 

I have answered three questions, and that is enough, 
Said his father. ''Don't give yourself air si 

Do you thin\ I can listen all day to such stuff? 
Be off, or Fll l^icl^ you downstairs!" 

58 Alice's adventures in wonderland 

"That is not said right," said the Caterpillar. 

"Not quite right, I'm afraid," said Alice, timidly: "some 
of the words have got altered." 

"It is wrong from beginning to end," said the Caterpil- 
lar, decidedly; and there was silence for some minutes. 

The Caterpillar was the first to speak. 

"What size do you want to be?" it asked. 

"Oh, Fm not particular as to size," Alice hastily replied; 
"only one doesn't like changing so often, you know." 

"I dont know," said the Caterpillar. 

Alice said nothing: she had never been so much con- 
tradicted in all her life before, and she felt that she was 
losing her temper. 

"Are you content now?" said the Caterpillar. 

"Well, I should like to be a little larger. Sir, if you 
wouldn't mind," said Alice: "three inches is such a 
wretched height to be." 

"It is a very good height indeed!" said the Caterpillar 


angrily, rearing itself upright as it spoke (it was exactly 
three inches high) . 

''But I'm not used to it!" pleaded poor Alice in a piteous 
tone. And she thought to herself "I wish the creatures 
wouldn't be so easily offended!" 

"You'll get used to it in time," said the Caterpillar; and 
it put the hookah into its mouth, and began smoking 

This time Alice waited patiently until it chose to speak 
again. In a minute or two the Caterpillar took the hookah 
out of its mouth, and yawned once or twice, and shook it- 
self. Then it got down off the mushroom, and crawled 
away into the grass, merely remarking, as it went, "One 
side will make you grow taller, and the other side will 
make you grow shorter." 

"One side of what} The other side of what}'' thought 
Alice to herself. 

"Of the mushroom," said the Caterpillar, just as if she 
had asked it aloud; and in another moment it was out of 

Alice remained looking thoughtfully at the mushroom 
for a minute, trying to make out which were the two sides 
of it; and, as it was perfectly round, she found this a very 
difficult question. However, at last she stretched her arms 
round it as far as they would go, and broke off a bit of 
the edge with each hand. 

"And now which is which?" she said to herself, and 
nibbled a little of the right-hand bit to try the effect. The 
next moment she felt a violent blow underneath her chin : 
it had struck her foot! 

She was a good deal frightened by this very sudden 
change, but she felt that there was no time to be lost, as 
she was shrinking rapidly: so she set to work at once to 
eat some of the other bit. Her chin was pressed so closely 

6o Alice's adventures in wonderland 

against her foot, that there was hardly room to open her 
mouth; but she did it at last, and managed to swallow a 
morsel of the left-hand bit. 


Jfc ^t, -jf- 4L 

^P ^r ^ ^T 

^ ^ ^ TT 

"Come, my head's free at last!" said Alice in a tone of 
delight, which changed into alarm in another moment, 
when she found that her shoulders were nowhere to be 
found: all she could see, when she looked down, was an 
immense length of neck, which seemed to rise like a stalk 
out of a sea of green leaves that lay far below her. 

"What can all that green stuflE be?" said Alice. "And 
where have my shoulders got to ? And oh, my poor hands, 
how is it I ca'n't see you?" She was moving them about, 
as she spoke, but no result seemed to follow, except a little 
shaking among the distant green leaves. 

As there seemed to be no chance of getting her hands 
up to her head, she tried to get her head down to them, 
and was delighted to find that her neck would bend about 
easily in any direction, like a serpent. She had just suc- 
ceeded in curving it down into a graceful zigzag, and was 
going to dive in among the leaves, which she found to be 
nothing but the tops of the trees under which she had been 
wandering, when a sharp hiss made her draw back in a 
hurry: a large pigeon had flown into her face, and was 
beating her violently with its wings. 

"Serpent!" screamed the Pigeon. 

"I'm not a serpent!" said Alice indignantly. "Let me 

"Serpent, I say again!" repeated the Pigeon, but in a 
more subdued tone, and added, with a kind of sob, "I've 
tried every way, but nothing seems to suit them!" 


"I haven't the last idea what you're talking about," said 

"I've tried the roots of trees, and I've tried banks, and 
I've tried hedges," the Pigeon went on, without attending 
to her; "but those serpents! There's no pleasing them!" 

Alice was more and more puzzled, but she thought 
there was no use in saying anything more till the Pigeon 
had finished. 

"As if it wasn't trouble enough hatching the eggs,'^ 
said the Pigeon; "but I must be on the look-out for ser- 
pents, night and day! Why, I haven't had a wink of sleep 
these three weeks!" 

"I'm very sorry you've been annoyed," said Alice, who 
was beginning to see its meaning. 

"And just as I'd taken the highest tree in the wood," 
continued the Pigeon, raising its voice to a shriek, "and 
just as I was thinking I should be free of them at last, they 
must needs come wriggling down from the sky! Ugh, 

"But I'm not a serpent, I tell you!" said Alice. "I'm a — 
Fm a " 

"Well! What are you?" said the Pigeon. "I can see 
you're trying to invent something!" 

"I — I'm a little girl," said Alice, rather doubtfully, as 
she remembered the number of changes she had gone 
through, that day. 

"A likely story indeed!" said the Pigeon, in a tone of the 
deepest contempt. "I've seen a good many little girls in my 
time, but never one with such a neck as that! No, no! 
You're a serpent; and there's no use denying it. I suppose 
you'll be telling me next that you never tasted an egg!" 

"I have tasted eggs, certainly," said Alice, who was a 
very truthful child; "but little girls eat eggs quite as much 
as serpents do, you know." 

62 Alice's adventures in wonderland 

"I don't believe it," said the Pigeon; "but if they do, 
then they're a kind of serpent: that's all I can say." 

This was such a new idea to Alice, that she was quite 
silent for a minute or two, which gave the Pigeon the op- 
portunity of adding "You're looking for eggs, I know that 
well enough; and what does it matter to me whether 
you're a little girl or a serpent?" 

"It matters a good deal to md*," said Alice hastily; "but 
I'm not looking for eggs, as it happens; and, if I was, I 
shouldn't want yours: I don't like them raw." 

"Well, be oflf, then!" said the Pigeon in a sulky tone, as 
it settled down again into its nest. Alice crouched down 
among the trees as well as she could, for her neck kept get- 
ting entangled among the branches, and every now and 
then she had to stop and untwist it. After a while she re- 
membered that she still held the pieces of mushroom in her 
hands, and she set to work very carefully, nibbling first at 
one and then at the other, and growing sometimes taller, 
and sometimes shorter, until she had succeeded in bring- 
ing herself down to her usual height. 

It was so long since she had been anything near the 
right size, that it felt quite strange at first; but she got 
used to it in a few minutes, and began talking to her- 
self, as usual, "Come, there's half my plan done now! 
How puzzling all these changes are! I'm never sure what 
I'm going to be, from one minute to another! However, 
I've got back to my right size: the next thing is, to get 
into that beautiful garden — how is that to be done, I won- 
der?" As she said this, she came suddenly upon an open 
place, with a little house in it about four feet high. "Who- 
ever lives there," thought Alice, "it'll never do to come 
upon them this size : why, I should frighten them out of 
their wits!" So she began nibbling at the right-hand bit 


again, and did not venture to go near the house till she 
had brought herself down to nine inches high. 

Chapter VI 
Pig and Pepper 

For a minute or two she stood looking at the house, and 
wondering what to do next, when suddenly a footman in 
livery came running out of the wood — (she considered 
him to be a footman because he was in livery : otherwise, 
judging by his face only, she would have called him a 
fish) — and rapped loudly at the door with his knuckles. It 
was opened by another footman in livery, with a round 
face, and large eyes like a frog; and both footmen, Alice 
noticed, had powdered hair that curled all over their 
heads. She felt very curious to know what it was all about, 
and crept a little way out of the wood to listen. 

The Fish-Footman began by producing from under his 
arm a great letter, nearly as large as himself, and this he 
handed over to the other, saying, in a solemn tone, "For 
the Duchess. An invitation from the Queen to play cro- 
quet." The Frog-Footman repeated, in the same solemn 
tone, only changing the order of the words a little, "From 
the Queen. An invitation for the Duchess to play croquet." 

Then they both bowed, and their curls got entangled 

Alice laughed so much at this, that she had to run back 
into the wood for fear of their hearing her; and, when 
she next peeped out, the Fish-Footman was gone, and the 


Other was sitting on the ground near the door, staring 
stupidly up into the sky. 

AUce went timidly up to the door, and knocked. 

"There's no sort of use in knocking," said the Footman, 
"and that for two reasons. First, because Fm on the same 
side of the door as you are : secondly, because they're mak- 
ing such a noise inside, no one could possibly hear you." 
And certainly there was a most extraordinary noise going 
on within — a constant howling and sneezing, and every 
now and then a great crash, as if a dish or kettle had been 
broken to pieces. 

"Please, then," said Alice, "how am I to get in?" 


"There might be some sense in your knocking," the 
Footman went on, without attending to her, "if we had 
the door between us. For instance, i£ you were inside, you 
might knock, and I could let you out, you know." He 
was looking up into the sky all the time he was speaking, 
and this Alice thought decidedly uncivil. "But perhaps 
he ca'n't help it," she said to herself; "his eyes are so very 
nearly at the top of his head. But at any rate he might 
answer questions. — How am I to get in?" she repeated, 

"I shall sit here," the Footman remarked, "till to-mor- 

row " 

At this moment the door of the house opened, and a 
large plate came skimming out, straight at the Footman's 
head: it just grazed his nose, and broke to pieces against 
one of the trees behind him. 

" or next day, maybe," the Footman continued in 

the same tone, exactly as if nothing had happened. 

"How am I to get in?" asked Alice again, in a louder 

''Are you to get in at all?" said the Footman. "That's 
the first question, you know." 

It was, no doubt: only Alice did not like to be told so. 
"It's really dreadful," she muttered to herself, "the way all 
the creatures argue. It's enough to drive one crazy!" 

The F'ootman seemed to think this a good opportunity 
for repeating his remark, with variations. "I shall sit 
here," he said, "on and off, for days and days." 

"But what am / to do?" said Alice. 

"Anything you like," said the Footman, and began 

"Oh, there's no use in talking to him," said Alice des- 
perately: "he's perfectly idiotic!" And she opened the door 
and went in. 

66 Alice's adventures in wonderland 

The door led right into a large kitchen, which was full 
of smoke from one end to the other : the Duchess was sit- 
ting on a three-legged stool in the middle, nursing a baby : 
the cook was leaning over the fire, stirring a large caul- 
dron which seemed to be full of soup. 

"There's certainly too much pepper in that soup!" Alice 
said to herself, as well as she could for sneezing. 

There was certainly too much of it in the air. Even the 
Duchess sneezed occasionally; and as for the baby, it was 
sneezing and howling alternately without a moment's 
pause. The only two creatures in the kitchen, that did not 
sneeze, were the cook, and a large cat, which was lying on 
the hearth and grinning from ear to ear. 

"Please would you tell me," said Alice, a little timidly, 
for she was not quite sure whether it was good manners 
for her to speak first, "why your cat grins like that?" 

"It's a Cheshire-Cat," said the Duchess, "and that's 
why. Pig!" 

She said the last word with such sudden violence that 
Alice quite jumped; but she saw in another moment that 
it was addressed to the baby, and not to her, so she took 
courage, and went on again: — 

"I didn't know that Cheshire-Cats always grinned; in 
fact, I didn't know that cats could grin." 

"They all can," said the Duchess; "and most of 'em do." 

"I don't know of any that do," Alice said very politely, 
feeling quite pleased to have got into a conversation. 

"You don't know much," said the Duchess; "and that's 
a fact." 

Alice did not at all like the tone of this remark, and 
thought it would be as well to introduce some other sub- 
ject of conversation. While she was trying to fix on one, 
the cook took the cauldron of soup off the fire, and at once 
set to work throwing everything within her reach at the 



Duchess and the baby — the fire-irons came first; then fol- 
lowed a shower of sauce-pans, plates, and dishes. The 
Duchess took no notice of them even when they hit her; 
and the baby was howling so much already, that it was 
quite impossible to say whether the blows hurt it or not. 

"Oh, please mind what youVe doing!" cried Alice, 
jumping up and down in an agony of terror. "Oh, there 
goes his precious nose!" as an unusually large saucepan 
flew close by it, and very nearly carried it off. 

"If everybody minded their own business," the Duchess 
said, in a hoarse growl, "the world would go round a deal 
faster than it does." 

"Which would not be an advantage," said Alice, who 
felt very glad to get an opportunity of showing off a little 
of her knowledge. "Just think what work it would make 
with the day and night! You see the earth takes twenty- 
four hours to turn round on its axis " 


"Talking o£ axes," said the Duchess, "chop of? her 

AUce glanced rather anxiously at the cook, to see if she 
meant to take the hint; but the cook was busily stirring 
the soup, and seemed not to be listening, so she went on 
again: "Twenty-four hours, I thin\\ or is it twelve? I " 

"Oh, don't bother meV said the Duchess. "I never could 
abide figures!" And with that she began nursing her child 
again, singing a sort of lullaby to it as she did so, and giv- 
ing it a violent shake at the end of every line : — 



Spea\ roughly to your little boy, 
And beat him when he sneezes: 

He only does it to annoy, 
Because he \nows it teases! 


(in which the cook and the baby joined): — 
'*Wow\ wow! wowl" 

While the Duchess sang the second verse of the song, 
she kept tossing the baby violently up and down, and the 
poor little thing howled so, that Alice could hardly hear 
the words : — 


I spea^ severely to my boy, 
I beat him when he sneezes; 

For he can thoroughly enjoy 
The pepper when he please si" 

''Wow! wow! wow!'' 



"Here! You may nurse it a bit, if you like!" the Duchess 
said to AHce, flinging the baby at her as she spoke. "I 
must go and get ready to play croquet with the Queen," 
and she hurried out of the room. The cook threw a frying- 
pan after her as she went, but it just missed her. 

Alice caught the baby with some difficulty, as it was a 
queer-shaped little creature, and held out its arms and legs 
in all directions, "just like a star-fish," thought Alice. The 
poor little thing was snorting like a steam-engine when 
she caught it, and kept doubling itself up and straighten- 
ing itself out again, so that altogether, for the first minute 
or two, it was as much as she could do to hold it. 

As soon as she had made out the proper way of nursing 
it (which was to twist it up into a sort of knot, and then 


keep tight hold o£ its right ear and left foot, so as to pre- 
vent its undoing itself), she carried it out into the open 
air. "If I don't take this child away with me," thought 
Alice, "they're sure to kill it in a day or two. Wouldn't 
it be murder to leave it behind?" She said the last words 
out loud, and the little thing grunted in reply (it had left 
off sneezing by this time). "Don't grunt," said Alice; 
"that's not at all a proper way of expressing yourself." 

The baby grunted again, and Alice looked very anx- 
iously into its face to see what was the matter with it. 
There could be no doubt that it had a very turn-up nose, 
much more like a snout than a real nose : also its eyes were 
getting extremely small for a baby: altogether Alice did 
not like the look of the thing at all. "But perhaps it was 
only sobbing," she thought, and looked into its eyes again, 
to see if there were any tears. 

No, there were no tears. "If you're going to turn into a 
pig, my dear," said Alice, seriously, "I'll have nothing 
more to do with you. Mind now!" The poor little thing 
sobbed again (or grunted, it was impossible to say which), 
and they went on for some while in silence. 

Alice was just beginning to think to herself, "Now, 
what am I to do with this creature, when I get it home?" 
when it grunted again, so violently, that she looked down 
into its face in some alarm. This time there could be no 
mistake about it : it was neither more nor less than a pig, . 
and she felt that it would be quite absurd for her to carry 
it any further. 

So she set the little creature down, and felt quite re- 
lieved to see it trot away quietly into the wood. "If it had 
grown up," she said to herself, "it would have made a 
dreadfully ugly child: but it makes rather a handsome 
pig, I think." And she began thinking over other children 




she knew, who might do 
very well as pigs, and was 
just saying to herself "if one 
only knew the right way to 

change them " when she 

was a little startled by seeing 
the Cheshire-Cat sitting on a 
bough of a tree a few yards 

The Cat only grinned 
when it saw Alice. It looked 
good-natured, she thought: 
still it had very long claws 
and a great many teeth, so 
she felt that it ought to be 
treated with respect. 
"Cheshire-Puss," she began, rather timidly, as she did 
not at all know whether it would like the name : however, 
it only grinned a little wider. "Come, it's pleased so far," 
thought Alice, and she went on. "Would you tell me, 
please, which way I ought to go from here?" 



"That depends a good deal on where you want to get 
to," said the Cat. 

"I don't much care where " said Ahce. 

"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the 

" so long as I get somewhere'/ Alice added as an ex- 

"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only 
walk long enough." 

Alice felt that this could not be denied, so she tried an- 
other question. "What sort of people live about here?" 

"In that direction," the Cat said, waving its right paw 
round, "lives a Hatter: and in that direction," waving the 
other paw, "lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: 
they're both mad." 

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice re- 

"Oh, you ca'n't help that," said the Cat : "we're all mad 
here. I'm mad. You're mad." 

"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice. 

"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have 
come here." 

Alice didn't think that proved it at all: however, she 
went on: "And how do you know that you're mad?" 

"To begin with," said the Cat, "a dog's not mad. You 
grant that?" 

"I suppose so," said Alice. 

"Well, then," the Cat went on, "you see a dog growls 
when it's angry, and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now 
/ growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm 
angry. Therefore I'm mad." 

"/ call it purring, not growling," said Alice. 

"Call it what you like," said the Cat. "Do you play cro- 
quet with the Queen to-day?" 


"I should like it very much," said Alice, "but I haven't 
been invited yet." 
"You'll see me there," said the Cat, and vanished. 
Alice was not much surprised at this, she was getting so 

well used to queer things happening. While she was still 
looking at the place where it had been, it suddenly ap- 
peared again. 

"By-the-bye, what became of the baby?" said the Cat. 
"I'd nearly forgotten to ask." 

"It turned into a pig," Alice answered very quietly, just 
as if the Cat had come back in a natural way. 

"I thought it would," said the Cat, and vanished again. 

Alice waited a little, half expecting to see it again, but 
it did not appear, and after a minute or two she walked on 
in the direction in which the March Hare was said to live. 
^'I've seen hatters before," she said to herself: "the March 
Hare will be much the most interesting, and perhaps, as 
this is May, it wo'n't be raving mad — at least not so mad 


as it was in March." As she said this, she looked up, and 
there was the Cat again, sitting on a branch of a tree. 

"Did you say *pig/ or 'fig'?" said the Cat. 

"I said 'pig'?" repUed AUce; "and I wish you wouldn't 
keep appearing and vanishing so suddenly : you make one 
quite giddy!" 

"All right," said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite 
slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending 
with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of 
it had gone. 

"Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought 
Alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious 
thing I ever saw in all my life!" 

She had not gone much farther before she came in sight 
of the house of the March Hare : she thought it must be 
the right house, because the chimneys were shaped like 
ears and the roof was thatched with fur. It was so large a 
house, that she did not like to go nearer till she had nib- 
bled some more of the left-hand bit of mushroom, and 
raised herself to about two feet high: even then she 
walked up towards it rather timidly, saying to herself 
"Suppose it should be raving mad after all! I almost wish 
I'd gone to see the Hatter instead!" 

Chapter VII 

A Mad Tea-Party 

There was a table set out under a tree in front of the 
house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having 
tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast 
asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, rest- 


ing their elbows on it, and talking over its head. *'Very 
uncomfortable for the Dormouse," thought Alice; "only 
as it's asleep, I suppose it doesn't mind." 

The table was a large one, but the three were all crowd- 
ed together at one corner of it. "No room! No room!" they 
cried out when they saw Alice coming. "There's plenty 
of room!" said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a 
large arm-chair at one end of the table. 

"Have some wine," the March Hare said in an encour- 
aging tone» 

Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing 
on it but tea. "I don't see any wine," she remarked. 

"There isn't any," said the March Hare. 

"Then it wasn't very civil of you to offer it," said Alice 

"It wasn't very civil of you to sit down without being 
invited," said the March Hare. 

"I didn't know it was your table," said Alice: "it's laid 
for a great many more than three." 

"Your hair wants cutting," said the Hatter. He had 
been looking at Alice for some time with great curiosity, 
and this was his first speech. 

"You should learn not to make personal remarks," 
Alice said with some severity: "It's very rude." 

The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; 
but all he said was "Why is a raven like a writing-desk.?^" 

"Come, we shall have some fun now!" thought Alice. 
"I'm glad they've begun asking riddles — I believe I can 
guess that," she added aloud. 

"Do you mean that you think you can find out the 
answer to it?" said the March Hare. 

"Exactly so," said Alice. 

"Then you should say what you mean," the March 
Hare went on. 


"I do," Alice hastily replied; "at least — at least I mean 
what I say — that's the same thing, you know." 

"Not the same thing a bit!" said the Hatter. "Why, you 
might just as well say that 1 see what I eat' is the same 
thing as 'I eat what I see'!" 

"You might just as well say," added the March Hare, 
"that 1 like what I get' is the same thing as 'I get what I 

"You might just as well say," added the Dormouse, 
which seemed to be talking in its sleep, "that 'I breathe 
when I sleep' is the same thing as *I sleep when I breathe'!" 

"It is the same thing with you," said the Hatter, and 
here the conversation dropped, and the party sat silent for 
a minute, while Alice thought over all she could remem- 
ber about ravens and writing-desks, which wasn't much. 

The Hatter was the first to break the silence. "What 
day of the month is it?" he said, turning to Alice: he had 
taken his watch out of his pocket,, and was looking at it 


uneasily, shaking it every now and then, and holding it 
to his ear. 

Alice considered a little, and then said "The fourth." 

"Two days wrong!" sighed the Hatter. "I told you but- 
ter wouldn't suit the works!" he added, looking angrily at 
the March Hare. 

"It was the best butter," the March Hare meekly re- 

"Yes, but some crumbs must have got in as well," the 
Hatter grumbled : "you shouldn't have put it in with the 

The March Hare took the watch and looked at it 
gloomily : then he dipped it into his cup of tea, and looked 
at it again: but he could think of nothing better to say 
than his first remark, "It was the best butter, you know." 

Alice had been looking over his shoulder with some 
curiosity. "What a funny watch!" she remarked. "It tells 
the day of the month, and doesn't tell what o'clock it is!" 

"Why should it?" muttered the Hatter. "Does your 
watch tell you what year it is?" 

"Of course not," Alice replied very readily: "but that's 
because it stays the same year for such a long time to- 

"Which is just the case with mine^' said the Hatter. 

Alice felt dreadfully puzzled. The Hatter's remark 
seemed to her to have no sort of meaning in it, and yet it 
was certainly English. "I don't quite understand you," 
she said, as politely as she could. 

"The Dormouse is asleep again," said the Hatter, and 
he poured a little hot tea upon its nose. 

The Dormouse shook its head impatiently, and said, 
without opening its eyes, "Of course, of course: just what 
I was going to remark myself." 



yS Alice's adventures in wonderland 

"Have you guessed the riddle yet?" the Hatter said, 
turning to Ahce again. 

"No, I give it up," AHce repUed. "What's the answer?" 

1 haven't the sUghtest idea," said the Hatter. 

'Nor I," said the March Hare. 

AHce sighed wearily. "I think you might do something 
better with the time," she said, "than wasting it in asking 
riddles that have no answers." 

"If you knew Time as well as I do," said the Hatter, 
"you wouldn't talk about wasting /*/. It's him,'" 

"I don't know what you mean," said Alice. 

"Of course you don't!" the Hatter said, tossing his head 
contemptuously. "I dare say you never even spoke to 

"Perhaps not," Alice cautiously replied; "but I know I 
have to beat time when I learn music." 

"Ah! That accounts for it," said the Hatter. "He wo'n't 
stand beating. Now, if you only kept on good terms with 
him, he'd do almost anything you liked with the clock. 
For instance, suppose it were nine o'clock in the morning, 
just time to begin lessons: you'd only have to whisper a 
hint to Time, and round goes the clock in a twinkling! 
Half-past one, time for dinner!" 

("I only wish it was," the March Hare said to itself in a 

"That would be grand, certainly," said Alice thought- 
fully; "but then — I shouldn't be hungry for it, you know." 

"Not at first, perhaps," said the Hatter: "but you could 
keep it to half-past one as long as you liked." 

"Is that the way you manage?" Alice asked. 

The Hatter shook his head mournfully. "Not I!" he re- 
plied. "We quarreled last March just before he went 

mad, you know " (pointing with his teaspoon at the 



March Hare,) " it was at the great concert given by 

the Queen of Hearts, and I had to sing 

* Twinkle, twinkle, little bat I 
How I wonder what you re at!' 

You know the song, perhaps?" 
"I've heard something Hke it," said AUce. 
"It goes on, you know," the Hatter continued, "in this 

way: — 

'Up above the world you fly, 
Li\e a tea-tray in the s\y. 

TwinJ^le, twin^le- 

y tt 

Here the Dormouse shook itself, and began singing in 

its sleep ''Twinkle, twinkle, twinkle, twin\le " and 

went on so long that they had to pinch it to make it stop. 

"Well, rd hardly finished the first verse," said the Hat- 
ter, "when the Queen bawled out *He's murdering the 
time! Off with his head!' " 


8o Alice's adventures in wonderland 

"How dreadfully savage!" exclaimed Alice. 
"And ever since that," the Hatter went on in a mourn- 
ful tone, "he wo'n't do a thing I ask! It's always six o'clock 


A bright idea came into Alice's head. "Is that the reason 
so many tea-things are put out here?" she asked. 

"Yes, that's it," said the Hatter with a sigh: "it's always 
tea-time, and we've no time to wash the things between 

"Then you keep moving round, I suppose?" said Alice. 

"Exactly so," said the Hatter: "as the things get used 

"But what happens when you come to the beginning 
again?" Alice ventured to ask. 

"Suppose we change the subject," the March Hare in- 
terrupted, yawning. "I'm getting tired of this. I vote the 
young lady tells us a story." 

"I'm afraid I don't know one," said Alice, rather 
alarmed at the proposal. 

"Then the Dormouse shall!" they both cried. "Wake 
up. Dormouse!" And they pinched it on both sides at 

The Dormouse slowly opened its eyes. "I wasn't asleep," 
it said in a hoarse, feeble voice, "I heard every word you 
fellows were saying." 

"Tell us a story!" said the March Hare. 

"Yes, please do!" pleaded Alice. 

"And be quick about it," added the Hatter, "or you'll 
be asleep again before it's done." 

"Once upon a time there were three little sisters," the 
Dormouse began in 'a great hurry; "and their names were 
Elsie, Lacie, and Tillie ; and they lived at the bottom of a 
well " 


"What did they live on?" said AUce, who always took 
a great interest in questions of eating and drinking. 

"They lived on treacle/' said the Dormouse, after think- 
ing a minute or two. 

"They couldn't have done that, you know," Alice gent- 
ly remarked. "They'd have been ill." 

"So they were," said the Dormouse; ''pery ill." 

Alice tried a little to fancy to herself what such an ex- 
traordinary way of living would be like, but it puzzled 
her too much: so she went on: "But why did they live at 
the bottom of a well?" 

"Take some more tea," the March Hare said to Alice^ 
very earnestly. 

"I've had nothing yet," Alice replied in an offended 
tone: "so I ca'n't take more." 

"You mean you ca'n't take less,'' said the Hatter: "it's 
very easy to take more than nothing." 

"Nobody asked your opinion," said Alice. 

"Who's making personal remarks now?" the Hatter 
asked triumphantly. 

Alice did not quite know what to say to this: so she 
helped herself to some tea and bread-and-butter, and then 
turned to the Dormouse, and repeated her question^ 
"Why did they live at the bottom of a well?" 

The Dormouse again took a minute or two to think 
about it, and then said "It was a treacle-well." 

"There's no such thing!" Alice was beginning very an- 
grily, but the Hatter and the March Hare went "Sh! Sh!" 
and the Dormouse sulkily remarked "If you ca'n't be 
civil, you'd better finish the story for yourself." 

"No, please go on!" Alice said very humbly. "I wo'n't 
interrupt you again. I dare say there may be one/' 

"One, indeed!" said the Dormouse indignantly. How- 

82 Alice's adventures in wonderland 

ever, he consented to go on. "And so these three httle sis- 
ters — they were learning to draw, you know " 

"What did they draw?" said Ahce, quite forgetting her 

"Treacle," said the Dormouse, without considering at 
all, this time. 

"I want a clean cup," interrupted the Hatter: "let's all 
move one place on." 

He moved on as he spoke, and the Dormouse followed 
him: the March Hare moved into the Dormouse's place, 
and Alice rather unwillingly took the place of the March 
Hare. The Hatter was the only one who got any advan^ 
tage from the change; and Alice was a good deal worse 
off than before, as the March Hare had just upset the 
milk-jug into his plate. 

Alice did not wish to offend the Dormouse again, so she 
began very cautiously: "But I don't understand. Where 
did they draw the treacle from?" 

"You can draw water out of a water-well," said the 
Hatter; "so I should think you could draw treacle out of 
a treacle-well — eh, stupid?" 

"But they were in the well," Alice said to the Dormouse, 
not choosing to notice this last remark. 

"Of course they were," said the Dormouse: "well in." 

This answer so confused poor Alice, that she let the 
Dormouse go on for some time without interrupting it. 

"They were learning to draw," the Dormouse went on, 
yawning and rubbing its eyes, for it was getting very 
sleepy; "and they drew all manner of things — everything 
that begins with an M " 

"Why with an M?" said Alice. 

"Why not?" said the March Hare. 

Alice was silent. 

The Dormouse had closed its eyes by this time, and was 



going oflf into a doze; but, on being pinched by the Hat- 
ter, it woke up again with a little shriek, and went on: 

" that begins with an M, such as mouse-traps, and the 

moon, and memory, and muchness — you know you say 


things are 'much of a muchness' — did you ever see such a 
thing as a drawing o£ a muchness!" 

"Really, now you ask me," said Alice, very much con- 
fused, "I don't think " 

"Then you shouldn't talk," said the Hatter. 

This piece of rudeness was more than Alice could bear : 
she got up in great disgust, and walked oflf: the Dormouse 
fell asleep instantly, and neither of the others took the 
least notice of her going, though she looked back once or 
twice, half hoping that they would call after her: the last 
time she saw them, they were trying to put the Dormouse 
into the teapot. 

"At any rate I'll never go there again!" said Alice, as 
she picked her way through the wood. "It's the stupidest 
tea-party I ever was at in all my life!" 


Just as she said this, she noticed that one of the trees 
had a door leading right into it. "That's very curious!" 
she thought. "But everything's curious to-day. I think I 
may as well go in at once." And in she went. 

Once more she found herself in the long hall, and close 
to the little glass table. "Now, I'll manage better this 
time," she said to herself, and began by taking the little 
golden key, and unlocking the door that led into the gar- 
den. Then she set to work nibbling at the mushroom (she 
had kept a piece of it in her pocket) till she was about a 
foot high: then she walked down the little passage: and 
then — she found herself at last in the beautiful garden, 
among the bright flower-beds and the cool fountains. 

Chapter VIII 
The Queen's Croquet Ground 

A large rose-tree stood near the entrance of the garden: 
the roses growing on it were white, but there were three 
gardeners at it, busily painting them red. Alice thought 
this a very curious thing, and she went nearer to watch 
them, and, just as she came up to them, she heard one of 
them say "Look out now, Five! Don't go splashing paint 
over me like that!" 

"I couldn't help it," said Five, in a sulky tone. "Seven 
jogged my elbow." 

On which Seven looked up and said "That's right, Five! 
Always lay the blame on others!" 

''Youd better not talk!" said Five. "I heard the Queen 
say only yesterday you deserved to be beheaded." 

"What for?" said the one who had spoken first. 




"That's none o£ your business, Two!" said Seven. 

"Yes, it is his business!" said Five. "And I'll tell him — 
it was for bringing the cook tulip-roots instead of onions." 

Seven flung down his brush, and had just begun "Well, 
of all the unjust things — " when his eye chanced to fall 
upon Alice, as she stood watching them, and he checked 
himself suddenly : the others looked round also, and all of 
them bowed low. 

"Would you tell me, please," said Alice, a little timidly, 
"why you are painting those roses?" 

Five and Seven said nothing, but looked at Two. Two 
began, in a low voice, "Why, the fact is, you see. Miss, this 
here ought to have been a red rose-tree, and we put a 
white one in by mistake; and, if the Queen was to find it 
out, we should all have our heads cut oflf, you know. So 

86 Alice's adventures in wonderland 

you see. Miss, we're doing our best, afore she comes, to — " 
At this moment. Five, who had been anxiously looking 
across the garden, called out "The Queen! The Queen!" 
and the three gardeners instantly threw themselves flat 
upon their faces. There was a sound of many footsteps, 
and Alice looked round, eager to see the Queen. 

First came ten soldiers carrying clubs: these were all 
shaped like the three gardeners, oblong and flat, with their 
hands and feet at the corners: next the ten courtiers: 
these were ornamented all over with diamonds, and 
walked two and two, as the soldiers did. After these came 
the royal children: there were ten of them, and the little 
dears came jumping merrily along, hand in hand, in 
couples : they were all ornamented with hearts. Next came 
the guests, mostly Kings and Queens, and among them 
Alice recognized the White Rabbit: it was talking in a 
hurried nervous manner, smiling at everything that was 
said, and went by without noticing her. Then followed 
the Knave of Hearts, carrying the King's crown on a 
crimson velvet cushion; and, last of all this grand proces- 

Alice was rather doubtful whether she ought not to lie 
down on her face like the three gardeners, but she could 
not remember ever having heard of such a rule at pro- 
cessions; "and besides, what would be the use of a pro- 
cession," thought she, "if people had all to lie down on 
their faces, so that they couldn't see it?" So she stood 
where she was, and waited. 

When the procession came opposite to Alice, they all 
stopped and looked at her, and the Queen said, severely, 
"Who is this?" She said it to the Knave of Hearts, who 
only bowed and smiled in reply. 

"Idiot!" said the Queen, tossing her head impatiently; 



and, turning to Alice, she went on: "What's your name, 

"My name is Alice, so please your Majesty," said Alice 
very politely; but she added, to herself, "Why, they're only 
a pack of cards, after all. I needn't be afraid of them!" 

"And who are these?" said the Queen, pointing to the 
three gardeners who were lying round the rose-tree; for,, 
you see, as they were lying on their faces, and the pattern 
on their backs was the same as the rest of the pack, she 

88 Alice's adventures in wonderland 

could not tell whether they were gardeners, or soldiers, or 
courtiers, or three of her own children. 

"How should / know?" said Alice, surprised at her own 
courage. "It's no business of miner 

The Queen turned crimson with fury, and, after glaring 
at her for a moment like a wild beast, began screaming 
"Off with her head! Off with " 

"Nonsense!" said Alice, very loudly and decidedly, and 
the Queen was silent. 

The King laid his hand upon her arm, and timidly said 
"Consider, my dear: she is only a child!" 

The Queen turned angrily away from him, and said to 
the Knave "Turn them over!" 

The Knave did so, very carefully, with one foot. 

"Get up!" said the Queen in a shrill, loud voice, and the 
three gardeners instantly jumped up, and began bowing 
to the King, the Queen, the royal children, and everybody 

"Leave off that!" screamed the Queen. "You make me 
giddy." And then, turning to the rose-tree, she went on 
"What have you been doing here?" 

"May it please your Majesty," said Two, in a very hum- 
ble tone, going down on one knee as he spoke, "we were 
trying — " 

"/ see!" said the Queen, who had meanwhile been exam- 
ining the roses. "Off with their heads!" and the proces- 
sion moved on, three of the soldiers remaining behind to 
execute the unfortunate gardeners, who ran to Alice for 

"You sha'n't be beheaded!" said Alice, and she put 
them into a large flower-pot that stood near. The three 
soldiers wandered about for a minute or two, looking for 
them, and then quietly marched off after the others. 

"Are their heads off?" shouted the Queen. 

THE queen's croquet-ground 89 

"Their heads are gone, if it please your Majesty!" the 
soldiers shouted in reply. 

"That's right!" shouted the Queen. "Can you play 

The soldiers were silent, and looked at Alice, as the 
question was evidently meant for her. 

"Yes!" shouted Alice. 

"Come on, then!" roared the Queen, and Alice joined 
the procession, wondering very much what would hap- 
pen next. 

"It's — it's a very fine day!" said a timid voice at her side. 
She was walking by the White Rabbit, who was peeping 
anxiously into her face. 

"Very," said Alice. "Where's the Duchess?" 

"Hush! Hush!" said the Rabbit in a low hurried tone. 

. He looked anxiously over his shoulder as he spoke, and 

then raised himself upon tiptoe, put his mouth close to 

her ear, and whispered "She's under sentence of execu- 


"What for?" said Alice. 

"Did you say 'What a pity!'?" the Rabbit asked. 

"No, I didn't," said Alice. "I don't think it's at all a pity. 
I said What for?'" 

"She boxed the Queen's ears — " the Rabbit began. Alice 
gave a little scream of laughter. "Oh, hush!" the Rabbit 
whispered in a frightened tone. "The Queen will hear 
you! You see she came rather late, and the Queen said — " 

"Get to your places!" shouted the Queen in a voice of 
thunder, and people began running about in all directions, 
tumbling up against each other : however, they got settled 
down in a minute or two, and the game began. 

Alice thought she had never seen such a curious cro- 
quet-ground in her life: it was all ridges and furrows: 
the croquet balls were live hedgehogs, and the mallets live 


flamingoes, and the soldiers had to double themselves up 
and stand on their hands and feet, to make the arches. 

The chief difficulty Alice found at first was in manag- 
ing her flamingo : she succeeded in getting its body tucked 

away, comfortably enough, under her arm, with its legs 
hanging down, but generally, just as she had got its neck 
nicely straightened out, and was going to give the hedge- 
hog a blow with its head, it would twist itself round and 
look up in her face, with such a puzzled expression that 
she could not help bursting out laughing; and, when she 
had got its head down, and was going to begin again, it 
was very provoking to find that the hedgehog had un- 
rolled itself, and was in the act of crawling away : besides 
all this, there was generally a ridge or a furrow in the 
way wherever she wanted to send the hedgehog to, and, as 


the doubled-up soldiers were always getting up and walk- 
ing off to other parts of the ground, Alice soon came to 
the conclusion that it was a very difficult game indeed. 

The players all played at once, without waiting for 
turns, quarreling all the while, and fighting for the hedge- 
hogs ; and in a very short time the Queen was in a furious 
passion, and went stamping about, and shouting "Of? 
with his head!" or "Off with her head!" about once in a 

Alice began to feel very uneasy : to be sure, she had not 
as yet had any dispute with the Queen, but she knew that 
it might happen any minute, "and then," thought she, 
"what would become of me? They're dreadfully fond of 
beheading people here: the great wonder is, that there's 
any one left alive!" 

She was looking about for some way of escape, and 
wondering whether she could get away without being 
seen, when she noticed a curious appearance in the air : it 
puzzled her very much at first, but after watching it a 
minute or two she made it out to be a grin, and she said 
to herself "It's the Cheshire-Cat: now I shall have some- 
body to talk to." 

"How are you getting on?" said the Cat, as soon as 
there was mouth enough for it to speak with. 

Alice waited till the eyes appeared, and then nodded. 
"It's no use speaking to it," she thought, "till its ears have 
come, or at least one of them." In another minute the 
whole head appeared, and then Alice put down her flam- 
ingo, and began an account of the game, feeling very glad 
she had some one to listen to her. The Cat seemed to 
think that there was enough of it now in sight, and no 
more of it appeared. 

"I don't think they play at all fairly," Alice began, in 
rather a complaining tone, "and they all quarrel so dread- 


fully one ca'n't hear oneself speak — and they don't seem 
to have any rules in particular: at least, if there are, no 
body attends to them — and you've no idea how confusing 
it is all the things being alive: for instance, there's the 
arch I've got to go through next w^alking about at the 
other end of the ground — and I should have croqueted 
the Queen's hedgehog just now, only it ran away when 
it saw mine coming!" 

"How do you like the Queen?" said the Cat in a low 

"Not at all," said Alice: "she's so extremely — " Just then 
she noticed that the Queen was close behind her, listen- 
ing: so she went on " — likely to win, that it's hardly worth 
while finishing the game." 

The Queen smiled and passed on. 

"Who are you talking to?" said the King, coming up to 
Alice, and looking at the Cat's head with great curiosity. 

"It's a friend of mine — a Cheshire-Cat," said Alice: 
"allow me to introduce it." 

"I don't like the look of it at all," said the King: "how- 
ever, it may kiss my hand, if it likes." 

"I'd rather not," the Cat remarked. 

"Don't be impertinent," said the King, "and don't look 
at me like that!" He got behind Alice as he spoke. 

"A cat may look at a king," said Alice. "I've read that 
in some book, but I don't remember where." 

"Well, it must be removed," said the King very de- 
cidedly; and he called to the Quen, who was passing at 
the moment, "My dear! I wish you would have this cat 

The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, 
great or small. "Off with his head!" she said without even 
looking around. 


"I'll fetch the executioner myself," said the King eager- 
ly, and he hurried off. 

Alice thought she might as well go back and see how 
the game was going on, as she heard the Queen's voice 
in the distance, screaming with passion. She had already 
heard her sentence three of the players to be executed for 
having missed their turns, and she did not like the look 
of things at all, as the game was in such confusion that 
she never knew whether it was her turn or not. So she 
went off in search of her hedgehog. 

The hedgehog was engaged in a fight with another 
hedgehog, which seemed to Alice an excellent opportunity 
for croqueting one of them with the other: the only dif- 
ficulty was, that her flamingo was gone across the other 
side of the garden, where Alice could see it trying in a 
helpless sort of way to fly up into a tree. 

By the time she had caught the flamingo and brought it 
back, the fight was over, and both the hedgehogs were out 
of sight: "but it doesn't matter much," thought Alice, "as 
all the arches are gone from this side of the ground." So 
she tucked it away under her arm, that it might not 
escape again, and went back to have a little more conver- 
sation with her friend. 

When she got back to the Cheshire-Cat, she was sur- 
prised to find quite a large crowd collected round it : there 
was a dispute going on between the executioner, the King, 
and the Queen, who were all talking at once, while all the 
rest were quite silent, and looked very uncomfortable. 

The moment Alice appeared, she was appealed to by all 
three to settle the question, and they repeated their argu- 
ments to her, though, as they all spoke at once, she found 
it very hard to make out exactly what they said. 

The executioner's argument was, that you couldn't cut 
off a head unless there was a body to cut it off from : that 


he had never had to do such a thing before, and he wasn't 
going to begin at his time of Ufe. 

The King's argument was that anything that had a 
head could be beheaded, and that you weren't to talk 

The Queen's argument was that, if something wasn't 
done about it in less than no time, she'd have everybody 
executed, all round. (It was this last remark that had 
made the whole party look so grave and anxious.) 

Alice could think of nothing else to say but "It be- 
longs to the Duchess: you'd better ask her about it." 


"She's in prison/' the Queen said to the executioner: 
*'£etch her here." And the executioner went off hke an 

The Cat's head began fading away the moment he was 
gone, and, by the time he had come back with the Duch- 
ess, it had entirely disappeared : so the King and the exe- 
cutioner ran wildly up and down, looking for it, while 
the rest of the party went back to the game. 

Chapter IX 
The Mock Turtle's Story 

^'You ca'n't think how glad I am to see you again, 
you dear old thing!" said the Duchess, as she tucked her 
arm affectionately into Alice's, and they walked off to- 

Alice was very glad to find her in such a pleasant tem- 
per, and thought to herself that perhaps it was only the 
pepper that had made her so savage when they met in 
the kitchen. 

"When rm a Duchess," she said to herself (not in a 
very hopeful tone, though), "I won't have any pepper in 
my kitchen at all. Soup does very well without — Maybe 
it's always pepper that makes people hot-tempered," she 
went on, very much pleased at having found out a new 
kind of rule, "and vinegar that makes them sour — and 
camomile that makes them bitter — and — and barley-sugar 
and such things that make children sweet-tempered. I 
only wish people knew that: then they wouldn't be so 
stingy about it, you know " 

She had quite forgotten the Duchess by this time, and 

96 Alice's adventures in wonderland 

was a little startled when she heard her voice close to her 
ear. "You're thinking about something, my dear, and 
that makes you forget to talk. I ca'n't tell you just now 
what the moral of that is, but I shall remember it in a bit." 


"Perhaps it hasn't one," Alice ventured to remark. 

"Tut, tut, child!" said the Duchess. "Everything's got 
a moral, if only you can find it." And she squeezed her- 
self up closer to Alice's side as she spoke. 

Alice did not much like her keeping so close to her: 
first because the Duchess was very ugly; and secondly, be- 
cause she was exactly the right height to rest her chin on 
Alice's shoulder, and it was an uncomfortably sharp chin. 


However, she did not like to be rude: so she bore it as 
well as she could. 

"The game's going on rather better now," she said, by 
way of keeping up the conversation a little. 

" 'Tis so," said the Duchess: "and the moral of that is 
—Oh, 'tis love, 'tis love, that makes the world go round!' " 
■ "Somebody said," Alice whispered, "that it's done by 
everybody minding their own business!" 

"Ah well! It means much the same thing," said the 
Duchess, digging her sharp little chin into Alice's shoul- 
der as she added "and the moral of that is — 'Take care of 
the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves.' " 

"How fond she is of finding morals in things!" Alice 
thought to herself. 

"I dare say you're wondering why I don't put my arm 
round your waist," the Duchess said, after a pause: "the 
reason is, that I'm doubtful about the temper of your 
flamingo. Shall I try the experiment?" 

"He might bite," Alice cautiously replied, not feeling at 
all anxious to have the experiment tried. 

"Very true," said the Duchess: "flamingoes and mus- 
tard both bite. And the moral of that is — 'Birds of a 
feather flock together.' " 

"Only mustard isn't a bird," Alice remarked. 

"Right, as usual," said the Duchess: "what a clear way 
you have of putting things!" 

"It's a mineral, I thin\^' said Alice. 

"Of course it is," said the Duchess, who seemed ready 
to agree to everything that Alice said: "there's a large 
mustard-machine near here. And the moral of that is — 
'The more there is of mine, the less there is of yours.' " 

"Oh, I know!" exclaimed Alice, who had not attended 
to this last remark. "It's a vegetable. It doesn't look like 
one, but it is." 

98 Alice's adventures in wonderland 

"I quite agree with you/' said the Duchess; "and the 
moral of that is — *Be what you would seem to be' — or, if 
you'd like it put more simply — 'Never imagine yourself 
not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others 
that what you were or might have been was not otherwise 
than what you had been would have appeared to them 
to be otherwise.' " 

"I think I should understand that better," Alice said 
very politely, "if I had it written down : but I ca'n't quite 
follow it as you say it." 

"That's nothing to what I could say if I chose," the 
Duchess replied, in a pleased tone. 

"Pray don't trouble yourself to say it any longer than 
that," said Alice. 

"Oh, don't talk about trouble!" said the Duchess. "I 
make you a present of everything I've said as yet." 

"A cheap sort of present!" thought Alice. "I'm glad 
people don't give birthday-presents like that!" But she 
did not venture to say it out loud. 

"Thinking again?" the Duchess asked, with another 
dig of her sharp little chin. 

"I've a right to think," said Alice sharply, for she was 
beginning to feel a little worried. 

"Just about as much right," said the Duchess, "as pigs 
have to fly; and the m " 

But here, to Alice's great surprise, the Duchess's voice 
died away, even in the middle of her favourite word 
'moral,' and the arm that was linked into hers began to 
tremble. Alice looked up, and there stood the Queen in 
front of them, with her arms folded, frowning like a 

"A fine day, your Majesty!" the Duchess began in a 
low, weak voice. 


"Now, I give you fair warning," shouted the Queen, 
stamping on the ground as she spoke; "either you or your 
head must be off, and that in about half no time! Take 
your choice!" 

The Duchess took her choice, and was gone in a 

"Let's go on with the game," the Queen said to AUce; 
and AUce was too much frightened to say a word, but 
slowly followed her back to the croquet-ground. 

The other guests had taken advantage of the Queen's 
absence, and were resting in the shade : however, the mo- 
ment they saw her, they hurried back to the game, the 
Queen merely remarking that a moment's delay would 
cost them their lives. 

All the time they were playing the Queen never left off 
quarreling with the other players and shouting "Off with 
his head!" or "Off with her head!" Those whom she sen- 
tenced were taken into custody by the soldiers, who of 
course had to leave off being arches to do this, so that, by 
the end of half an hour or so, there were no arches left, 
and all the players, except the King, the Queen, and Alice, 
were in custody and under sentence of execution. 

Then the Queen left off, quite out of breath, and said 
to Alice "Have you seen the Mock Turtle yet?" 

"No," said Alice. "I don't even know what a Mock 
Turtle is." 

"It's the thing Mock Turtle Soup is made from," said 
the Queen. 

1 never saw one, or heard of one," said Alice. 

'Come on, then," said the Queen, "and he shall tell you 
his history." 

As they walked off together, Alice heard the King say 
in a low voice, to the company, generally, "You are all 




pardoned." "Come, that's a good thing!" she said to her- 
self, for she had felt quite unhappy at the number of 
executions the Queen had ordered. 
They very soon came upon a Gryphon, lying fast 

^^/^^uijJ- V . 

asleep in the sun. (If you don't know what a Gryphon is, 
look at the picture.) "Up, lazy thing!" said the Queen, 
"and take this young lady to see the Mock Turtle, and to 
hear his history. I must go back and see after some exe- 
cutions I have ordered;" and she walked off, leaving Alice 
alone with the Gryphon. Alice did not quite like the look 
of the creature, but on the whole she thought it would be 
quite as safe to stay with it as to go after that savage 
Queen: so she waited. 

The Gryphon sat up and rubbed its eyes: then it 
watched the Queen till she was out of sight then it 
chuckled. "What fun!" said the Gryphon, half to itself, 
half to Alice. 

"What is the fun?" said Alice. 



"Why, she^' said the Gryphon. "It's all her fancy that: 
they never executes nobody, you know. Come on!" 

"Everybody says 'come on!' here," thought Alice, as she 
went slowly after it: "I never was so ordered about before, 
in all my life, never!" 

They had not gone far before they saw the Mock Tur- 
tle in the distance, sitting sad and lonely on a little ledge 
of rock, and, as they came nearer, Alice could hear him 
sighing as if his heart would break. She pitied him deeply. 


"What is his sorrow?" she asked the Gryphon. And the 
Gryphon answered, very nearly in the same words as be- 
fore, "It's all his fancy, that: he hasn't got no sorrow, you 
know. Come on!" 

So they went up to the Mock Turtle, who looked at 
them with large eyes full of tears, but said nothing. 

"This here young lady," said the Gryphon, "she wants 
for to know your history, she do." 

"I'll tell it her," said the Mock Turtle in a deep, hollow 
tone. "Sit down, both of you, and don't speak a word till 
I've finished." 

So they sat down, and nobody spoke for some minutes. 
Alice thought to herself "I don't see how he can ever 
finish, if he doesn't begin." But she waited patiently. 

"Once," said the Mock Turtle at last, with a deep sigh, 
"I was a real Turtle." 

These words were followed by a very long silence, 
broken only by an occasional exclamation of "Hjckrrh!" 
from the Gryphon, and the constant heavy sobbing of the 
Mock Turtle. Alice was very nearly getting up and say- 
ing, "Thank you. Sir, for your interesting story," but she 
could not help thinging there must be more to come, so 
she sat still and said nothing. 

"When we were little," the Mock Turtle went on at 
last, more calmly, though still sobbing a little now and 
then, "we went to school in the sea. The master was an 
old Turtle — we used to call him Tortoise " 

"Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn't one?" 
Alice asked. 

"We called him Tortoise because he taught us," said 
the Mock Turtle angrily. "Really you are very dull!" 

"You ought to be ashamed of yourself for asking such a 
simple question," added the Gryphon; and then they both 
sat silent and looked at poor Alice, who felt ready to sink 


into the earth. At last the Gryphon said to the Mock Tur- 
tle "Drive on, old fellow! Don't be all day about it!" and 
he went on in these words : — 

"Yes, we went to school in the sea, though you mayn't 
believe it " 

"I never said I didn't!" interrupted Alice. 

"You did," said the Mock Turtle. 

"Hold your tongue!" added the Gryphon, before Alice 
could speak again. The Mock Turtle went on. 

"We had the best of educations — in fact, we went to 
school every day " 

'Tve been to a day-school, too," said Alice. "You needn't 
be so proud as all that." 

"With extras?" asked the Mock Turtle, a little anx- 

"Yes," said Alice: "we learned French and music." 

"And washing?" said the Mock Turtle. 

"Certainly not!" said Alice indignantly. 

"Ah! Then yours wasn't a really good school," said the 
Mock Turtle in a tone of great relief. "Now, at ours, they 
had, at the end of the bill. Trench, music, and washing — 

"You couldn't have wanted it much," said Alice; "liv- 
ing at the bottom of the sea." 

"I couldn't afford to learn it," said the Mock Turtle 
with a sigh. "I only took the regular course." 

"What was that?" inquired Alice. 

"Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with," the 
Mock Turtle replied; "and then the different branches of 
Arithmetic — Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and De- 

"I never heard of *Uglification,' " Alice ventured to say. 
"What is it?" 

The Gryphon lifted up both its paws in surprise. "Nev- 


er heard of uglifying!" it exclaimed. "You know what to 
beautify is, I suppose?" 

"Yes/' said Alice doubtfully: "it means — to — make — 
anything — prettier." 

"Well, then," the Gryphon went on, "if you don't know 
what to uglify is, you are a simpleton." 

Alice did not feel encouraged to ask any more ques- 
tions about it : so she turned to the Mock Turtle, and said 
"What else had you to learn?" 

"Well, there was Mystery," the Mock Turtle replied, 
counting off the subjects on his flappers — "Mystery, an- 
cient and modern, with Seaography : then Drawling — the 
Drawling-master was an old conger-eel, that used to come 
once a week: he taught us Drawling, Stretching, and 
Fainting in Coils." 

"What was that like?" said Alice. 

"Well, I ca'n't show it you, myself," the Mock Turtle 
said "Fm too stiff. And the Gryphon never learnt it." 

"Hadn't time," said the Gryphon: "I went to the Class- 
ical master, though. He was an old crab, he was." 

"I never went to him," the Mock Turtle said with a 
sigh. "He taught Laughing and Grief, they used to say." 

"So he did, so he did," said the Gryphon, sighing in hi? 
turn; and both creatures hid their faces in their paws. 

"And how^ many hours a day did you do lessons?" said 
Alice, in a hurry to change the subject. 

"Ten hours the first day," said the Mock Turtle: "nine 
the next, and so on." 

"What a curious plan!" exclaimed Alice. 

"That's the reason they're called lessons," the Gryphon 
remarked: "because they lessen from day to day." 

This was quite a new idea to Alice, and she thought it 
over a little before she made her next remark. "Then the 
eleventh day must have been a holiday?" 


"Of course it was," said the Mock Turtle. 

"And how did you manage on the twelfth?" Alice went 
on eagerly. 

"That's enough about lessons," the Gryphon inter- 
rupted in a very decided tone. "Tell her something about 
the games now." 

Chapter X 

The Lobster-Quadrille 

The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and drew the back of 
one flapper across his eyes. He looked at Alice and tried to 
speak, but, for a minute or two, sobs choked his voice. 
"Same as if he had a bone in his throat," said the Gry- 
phon; and it set to work shaking him and punching him 
in the back. At last the Mock Turtle recovered his voice, 
and, with tears running down his cheeks, he went on 
again: — 

"You may not have lived much under the sea — " ("I 
haven't," said Alice) — "and perhaps you were never even 
introduced to a lobster — " (Alice began to say "I once 

tasted " but checked herself hastily, and said "No 

never") " so you can have no idea what a delightful 

thing a Lobster-Quadrille is!" 

"No, indeed," said Alice. "What sort of a dance is it?" 

"Why," said the Gryphon, "you first form into a line 
along the sea-shore " 

"Two lines!" cried the Mock Turtle. "Seals, turtles, 
salmon, and so on: then, when you've cleared all the jelly- 
fish out of the way " 

io6 Alice's adventures in wonderland 

''That generally takes some time/' interrupted the Gry- 

" — you advance twice " 

"Each with a lobster as a partner!" cried the Gryphon. 

"Of course," the Mock Turtle said: "advance twice, set 
to partners " 

" — change lobsters, and retire in same order," continued 
the Gryphon. 

"Then, you know," the Mock Turtle went on, "you 
throw the " 

"The lobsters!" shouted the Gryphon, with a bound 
into the air. 

" — as far out to sea as you can " 

"Swim after them!" screamed the Gryphon. 

"Turn a somersault in the sea!" cried the Mock Turtle, 
capering wildly about. 

"Change lobsters again!" yelled the Gryphon at the top 
of its voice. 

"Back to land again, and — that's all the first figure," 
said the Mock Turtle, suddenly dropping his voice; and 
the two creatures, who had been jumping about like mad 
things all this time, sat down again very sadly and quietly, 
and looked at Alice. 

"It must be a very pretty dance," said Alice timidly. 

"Would you like to see a little of it?" said the Mock 

"Very much indeed," said Alice. 

"Come, let's try the first figure!" said the Mock Turtle 
to the Gryphon. "We can do it without lobsters, you 
know. Which shall sing?" 

"Oh, you sing," said the Gryphon. "I've forgotten the 

So they began solemnly dancing round and round 
Alice, every now and then treading on her toes when they 




passed too close, and waving their fore-paws to mark the 
time, when the Mock Turtle sang this, very slowly and 
sadly : — 


Will you wal\ a little faster?'' said a whiting to a snail, 
There's a porpoise close behind us, and he's treading on my 

See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advancel 
They are waiting on the shingle — will you come and join 

the dance? 
Will you, wo'n't you, will you, wo'n't you, will you join 

the dance? 
Will you, wo'n't you, will you, wo'n't you, wo'n't you join 

the dance? 

io8 Alice's adventures in wonderland 

'You can really have no notion how delightful it will be 
When they ta\e us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out 

to seal" 
But the snail replied ''Too jar, too far!" and gave a look, 

askance — 
Said he than\ed the whiting \indly, but he would not join 

the dance. 
Would not, could not, would not. could not, could not 

join the dance. 
Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not 

join the dance. 

"What matters it how far we go?" his scaly friend replied. 

The further off from England the nearer is to France. 

There is another shore, you /{now, upon the other side. 

Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the 


Will you, wont you, will you, wo'nt you, will you join 

the dance? 

Will you, wont you, will you, wo'nt you, will you join 
the dance?" 

"Thank you, it's a very interesting dance to watch,' 
said AUce, feeUng very glad that it was over at last: "and 
I do so like that curious song about the whiting!" 

"Oh, as to the whiting," said the Mock Turtle, "they — 
you've seen them, of course?" 

"Yes," said Alice, "I've often seen them at dinn " 

she checked herself hastily. 

"I don't know where Dinn may be," said the Mock 
Turtle; "but, if you've seen them so often, of course you 
know what they're like?" 

"I believe so," Alice replied thoughtfully. "They have 
their tails in their mouths — and they're all over crumbs." 

"You're wrong about the crumbs," said the Mock Tur- 
tle: "crumbs would all wash off in the sea. But they have 


their tails in their mouths; and the reason is — " here the 
Mock Turtle yawned and shut his eyes. "Tell her about 
the reason and all that," he said to the Gryphon. 

"The reason is," said the Gryphon, "that they would go 
with the lobsters to the dance. So they got thrown out to 
sea. So they had to fall a long way. So they got their tails 
fast in their mouths. So they couldn't get them out again. 
That's all." 

"Thank you," said Alice, "it's very interesting. I never 
knew so much about a whiting before." 

"I can tell you more than that, if you like," said the 
Gryphon. "Do you know why it's called a whiting?" 

"I never thought about it," said Alice. "Why?" 

"// does the boots and shoes^' the Gryphon replied very 

Alice was thoroughly puzzled. "Does the boots and 
shoes!" she repeated in a wondering tone. 

"Why, what are your shoes done with?" said the Gry- 
phon. "I mean, what makes them so shiny?" 

Alice looked down at them, and considered a little be- 
fore she gave her answer. "They're done with blacking, I 

"Boots and shoes under the sea," the Gryphon went on 
in a deep voice, "are done with whiting. Now you know." 

"And what are they made of?" Alice asked in a tone 
of great curiosity. 

"Soles and eels, of course," the Gryphon replied, rath- 
er impatiently: "any shrimp could have told you that." 

"If I'd been the whiting," said Alice, whose thoughts 
were still running on the song, "I'd have said to the por- 
poise *Keep back, please! We don't want you with us!' " 

"They were obliged to have him with them," the Mock ■ 
Turtle said. "No wise fish would go anywhere without a 


"Wouldn't it, really?" said Alice, in a tone of great 

"Of course not," said the Mock Turtle. "Why, if a fish 
came to me^ and told me he was going a journey, I should 
say 'With what porpoise?' " 

"Don't you mean 'purpose'?" said Alice. 

"I mean what I say," the Mock Turtle replied, in an 
offended tone. And the Gryphon added "Come, let's hear 
some of your adventures." 

"I could tell you my adventures — beginning from this 
morning," said Alice a little timidly; "but it's no use go- 
ing back to yesterday, because I was a different person 

"Explain all that," said the Mock Turtle. 

"No, no! The adventures first," said the Gryphon in an 
impatient tone: "explanations take such a dreadful time." 

So Alice began telling them her adventures from the 
time when she first saw the White Rabbit. She was a little 
nervous about it, just at first, the two creatures got so 
close to her, one on each side, and opened their eyes and 
mouths so very wide; but she gained courage as she went 
on. Her listeners were perfectly quiet till she got to the 
part about her repeating ''You are old, Father William," 
to the Caterpillar, and the words all coming different, and 
then the Mock Turtle drew a long breath, and said 
"That's very curious!" 

"It's all about as curious as it can be," said the Gryphon. 

"It all came different!" the Mock Turtle repeated 
thoughtfully. "I should like to hear her try and repeat 
something now. Tell her to begin." He looked at the Gry- 
phon as if he thought it had some kind of authority over 

"Stand up and repeat ' 'Tis the voice of the sluggard^' " 
said the Gryphon. 





"How the creatures order one about, and make one re- 
peat lessons!" thought Ahce. "I might just as well be at 
school at once." However, she got up, and began to re- 
peat it, but her head was so full of the Lobster-Quadrille, 
that she hardly knew what she was saying; and the words 
came very queer indeed: — 

Tis the voice of the Lobster: I heard him declare 
'You have ba\ed me too brotvn, I must sugar my hair/ 
As a duc\ with his eyelids, so he with his nose 
Trims his belt and his buttons, and turns out his toes. 
When the sands are all dry, he is gay as a lar\. 
And will tal\ in contemptuous tones of the Sharif: 
But, whei7 the tide rises and shar\s are around, 
His voice has a timid and tremulous sound," 

t( >> 

112 Alice's adventures in wonderland 

"That's diflferent from what / used to say when I was 
a child," said the Gryphon. 

"Well, / never heard it before," said the Mock Turtle; 
"but it sounds uncommon nonsense." 

Alice said nothing: she had sat down with her face in 
her hands, wondering if anything would ever happen in a 
natural way again. 

"I should like to have it explained," said the Mock 


"She can't explain it," said the Gryphon hastily. "Go 
on with the next verse." 

"But about his toes?" the Mock Turtle persisted. "How 
could he turn them out with his nose, you know?" 

"It's the first position in dancing," Alice said; but she 
was dreadfully puzzled by the whole thing, and longed to j 
change the subject. I 

"Go on with the next verse," the Gryphon repeated: "it 
begins 7 passed by his garden' " 

Alice did not dare to disobey, though she felt sure it 
w^euld all come wrong, and she went on in a trembling 
voice : — 

'7 passed by his garden, and mar\ed, with one eye, 
How the Owl and the Panther were sharing a pie: 
The Panther too\ pie-crust, and gravy, and meat. 
While the Owl had the dish as its share of the treat. 
When the pie was all finished, the Owl, as a boon. 
Was \indly permitted to poc\et the spoon: *^ 

While the Panther received \nije and jor\ with a growl. 
And concluded the banquet by " ^ 

"What is the use of repeating all that stuff?" the Mock 
Turtle interrupted, "if you don't explain it as you go on? 
It's by far the most confusing thing that / ever heard!" 

"Yes, I think you'd better leave off," said the Gryphon, i 
and Alice was only too glad to do so. I 


"Shall we try another figure of the Lobster-Quadrille?" 
the Gryphon went on. "Or would you like the Mock Tur- 
tle to sing you another song?" 

"Oh, a song, please, if the Mock Turde would be so 
kind," Alice replied, so eagerly that the Gryphon said, in 
a rather offended tone, "Hm! No accounting for tastes! 
Sing her 'Turtle Soupy will you, old fellow?" 

The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and began in a voice 
choked with sobs, to sing this: — 

*' Beautiful Soup, so rich and green, 
Waiting in a hot tureenl 
Who for such dainties would not stoop? 
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup! 
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup! 

Beau — ootiful Soo — oop! 

Beau — ootiful Soo — oop! 
Soo — oop of the e — e — evening, 

Beautiful, beautiful Soup! 

''Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish, 
Game, or any other dish? 
Who would not give all else for two p 
enny worth only of beautiful Soup? 
Pennyworth only of beautiful soup? 

Beau — ootiful Soo — oop! 

Beau — ootiful Soo — oop! 
Soo — oop of the e — e — evening. 

Beautiful, beauti—FUL SOUP!" 

"Chorus again!" cried the Gryphon, and the Mock Tur- 
tle had just begun to repeat it, when a cry of "The trial's 
beginning!" was heard in the distance. 

"Come on!" cried the Gryphon, and, taking Alice by 
the hand, it hurried off, without waiting for the end o£ 
the song. 


"What trial is it?" Alice panted as she ran: but the 
Gryphon only answered "Come on!" and ran the faster, 
while more and more faintly came, carried on the breeze 
that followed them, the melancholy words : — 

*'Soo — oop of the € — e — evening, 
Beautiful, beautiful SoupV* 

Chapter XI 

Who Stole the Tarts ? 

The King and Queen of Hearts were seated on their 
throne when they arrived, with a great crowd assembled 
about them — all sorts of little birds and beasts, as well as 
the whole pack of cards: the Knave was standing before 
them, in chains, with a soldier on each side to guard him; 
and near the King was the White Rabbit, with a trumpet 
in one hand, and a scroll of parchment in the other. In the 
very middle of the court was a table, with a large dish of 
tarts upon it : they looked so good, that it made Alice quite 
hungry to look at them — "I wish they'd get the trial 
done," she thought, "and hand round the refreshments!" 
But there seemed to be no chance of this; so she began 
looking at everything about her to pass away the time. 

Alice had never been in a court of justice before, but 
she had read about them in books, and she was quite 
pleased to find that she knew the name of nearly every- 
thing there. "That's the judge," she said to herself, "be- 
cause of his great wig." 

The judge, by the way, was the King; and, as he wore 
his crown over the wig (look at the frontispiece if you 


want to see how he did it), he did not look at all comfort- 
able, and it was certainly not becoming. 

"And that's the jury-box," thought Alice; "and those 
twelve creatures," (she was obliged to say "creatures," 
you see, because some of them were animals, and some 
were birds,) "I suppose they are the jurors." She said this 
last word two or three times over to herself, being rather 
proud of it : for she thought, and rightly too, that very few 
little girls of her age knew the meaning of it at all. How- 
ever, "jurymen" would have done just as well. 

The twelve jurors were all writing very busily on slates. 
"What are they doing?" Alice whispered to the Gryphon. 
"They ca'n't have anything to put down yet, before the 
trial's begun." 

"They're putting down their names," the Gryphon 
whispered in reply, "for fear they should forget them be- 
fore the end of the trial." 

"Stupid things!" Alice began in a loud indignant voice; 
but she stopped herself hastily, for the White Rabbit cried 
out "Silence in the court!" and the King put on his spec- 
tacles and looked anxiously round, to make out who was 

Alice could see, as well as if she were looking over their 
shoulders, that all the jurors were writing down "Stupid 
things!" on their slates, and she could even make out that 
one of them didn't know how to spell "stupid," and that 
he had to ask his neighbour to tell him. "A nice muddle 
their slates'U be in, before the trial's over!" thought Alice. 

One of the jurors had a pencil that squeaked. This, of 
course, Alice could not stand, and she went round the 
court and got behind him, and very soon found an oppor- 
tunity of taking it away. She did it so quickly that the poor 
little juror (it was Bill, the Lizard) could not make out at 
all what had become of it; so, after hunting all about for 

ii6 Alice's adventures in wonderland 

it, he was obliged to write with one finger for the rest of 
the day; and this was of very Httle use, as it left no mark 
on the slate. 

"Herald, read the accusation!" said the King. 


On this the White Rabbit blew three blasts on the trum- 
pet, and then unrolled the parchment-scroll, and read as 
follows : — 

''The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts, 
All on a summer day: 
The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts 
And too\ them quite away!" 

"Consider your verdict," the King said to the jury. 
"Not yet, not yet!" the Rabbit hastily interrupted. 
"There's a great deal to come before that!" 


"Call the first witness," said the King; and the White 
Rabbit blew three blasts on the trumpet, and called out 
"First witness!" 

The first witness was the Hatter. He came in with a 
teacup in one hand and a piece of bread-and-butter in the 
other. "I beg pardon, your Majesty," he began, "for bring- 
ing these in; but I hadn't quite finished my tea when I 
was sent for." 

"You ought to have finished," said the King. "When 
did you begin?" 

The Hatter looked at the March Hare, who had fol- 
lowed him into the court, arm-in-arm with the Dormouse. 
"Fourteenth of March, I thin\ it was," he said. 

"Fifteenth," said the March Hare. 

"Sixteenth," said the Dormouse. 

"Write that down," the king said to the jury; and the 
jury eagerly wrote down all three dates on their slates, 
and then added them up, and reduced the answxr to 
shillings and pence. 

"Take of? your hat," the King said to the Hatter. 

"It isn't mine," said the Hatter. 

'' Stolen r the King exclaimed, turning to the jury, who 
instantly made a memorandum of the fact. 

"I keep them to sell," the Hatter added as an explana- 
tion. "I've none of my own. I'm a hatter." 

Here the Queen put on her spectacles, and began star- 
ing hard at the Hatter, who turned pale and fidgeted. 

"Give your evidence," said the King; "and don't be 
nervous, or I'll have you executed on the spot." 

This did not seem to encourage the witness at all: he 
kept shifting from one foot to the other, looking uneasily 
at the Queen, and in his confusion he bit a large piece out 
of his teacup instead of the bread-and-butter. 

Just at this moment Alice felt a very curious sensation. 

ii8 Alice's adventures in wonderland 

which puzzled her a good deal until she made out what 
it was: she was beginning to grow larger again, and she 
thought at first she would get up and leave the court; but 
on second thoughts she decided to remain where she was 
as long as there was room for her. 



"I wish you wouldn't squeeze so," said the Dormouse, 
who was sitting next to her. "I can hardly breathe." 

"I ca'n't help it," said Alice very meekly: "I'm grow- 

"You've no right to grow here^' said the Dormouse. 

"Don't talk nonsense," said Alice more boldly: "you 
know you're growing too." 

"Yes, but / grow at a reasonable pace," said the Dor- 
mouse: "not in that ridiculous fashion." And he got up 
very sulkily and crossed over to the other side of the court. ' 

All this time the Queen had never left of? staring at the 


Hatter, and, just as the Dormouse crossed the court, she 
said, to one of the officers of the court, "Bring me the Hst 
of the singers in the last concert!" on which the wretched 
Hatter trembled so, that 'he shook off both his shoes. 

"Give your evidence," the King repeated angrily, "or 
ril have you executed, whether you are nervous or not." 

"Fm a poor man, your Majesty," the Hatter began, in 
a trembling voice, "and I hadn't begun my tea — not above 
a week or so — and what with the bread-and-butter getting 
so thin — and the twinkling of the tea " 

"The twinkling of what}'' said the King. 

"It began with the tea," the Hatter replied. 

"Of course twinkling begins with a T!" said the King 
sharply. "Do you take me for a dunce? Go on!" 

"I'm a poor man," the Hatter went on, "and most 
things twinkled after that — only the March Hare 
said " 

"I didn't!" the March Hare interrupted in a great 

"You did!" said the Hatter. 

"I deny it!" said the March Hare. 

"He denies it," said the King: "leave out that part." 

"Well, at any rate, the Dormouse said " the Hatter 

went on, looking anxiously round to see if he would deny 
it too; but the Dormouse denied nothing, being fast 

"After that," continued the Hatter, "I cut some more 
bread-and-butter " 

"But what did the Dormouse say?" one of the jury 

"That I ca'n't remember," said the Hatter. 

"You must remember," remarked the King, "or I'll 
have you executed." 


The miserable Hatter dropped his teacup and bread- 
and-butter, and went down on one knee. "I'm a poor man, 
your Majesty," he began. 

"You're a very poor speaker ^' said the King. 



Here one of the guinea-pigs cheered, and was immedi- 
ately suppressed by the officers of the court. (As that is 
rather a hard word, I will just explain to you how it was 
done. They had a large canvas bag, which tied up at the 
mouth with strings : into this they slipped the guinea-pig, 
head first, and then sat upon it.) 

"I'm glad I've seen that done," thought Alice. "I've so 
often read in the newspapers, at the end of trials, *There 
was some attempt at applause, which was immediately 
suppressed by the officers of the court,' and I never un- 
derstood what it meant till now." 

"If that's all you know about it, you may stand down," 
continued the King. 

"I ca'n't go no lower," said the Hatter: "I'm on the 
floor, as it is." 

"Then you may sit down," the King replied. 



Here the other guinea-pig cheered, and was suppressed. 

"Come, that finishes the guinea-pigs!" thought AHce. 
"Now we shall get on better." 

"Fd rather finish my tea," said the Hatter, with an 
anxious look at the Queen, who was reading the list o£ 

"You may go," said the King, and the Hatter hurriedly 
left the court, without even waiting to put his shoes on* 

" and just take his head off outside," the Queen 

added to one of the officers; but the Hatter was out of 
sight before the officer could get to the door. 

"Call the next witness!" said the King. 

The next witness was the Duchess's cook. She carried 
the pepper-box in her hand, and Alice guessed who it was, 
even before she got into the court, by the way the people 
near the door began sneezing all at once. 

"Give your evidence," said the King. 

"Sha'n't," said the cook. 

The King looked anxiously at the White Rabbit, who 
said, in a low voice, "Your Majesty must cross-examine 
this witness." 

"Well, if I must, I must," the King said with a melan- 
choly air, and, after folding his arms and frowning at the 
cook till his eyes were nearly out of sight, he said, in a 
deep voice, "What are tarts made of?" 

"Pepper, mostly," said the cook. 

"Treacle," said a sleepy voice behind her. 

"Collar that Dormouse!" the Queen shrieked out. "Be- 
head that Dormouse! Turn that Dormouse out of court! 
Suppress him! Pinch him! Of? with his whiskers!" 

For some minutes the whole court was in confusion, 
getting the Dormouse turned out, and, by the time they 
had settled down again, the cook had disappeared. 

"Never mind!" said the King, with an air of great re- 


lief. "Call the next witness." And he added, in an under- 
tone to the Queen, "Really, my dear, you must cross- 
examine the next witness. It quite makes my forehead 

Alice watched the White Rabbit as he fumbled over 
the list, feeling very curious to see what the next witness 
would be like, " — for they haven't got much evidence 
yd-/," she said to herself. Imagine her surprise, when the 
White Rabbit read out, at the top of his shrill little voice, 
the name "Alice!" 

Chapter XII 

Alice's Evidence 

*'Here!" cried Alice, quite forgetting in the flurry of the 
moment how large she had grown in the last few min- 
utes, and she jumped up in such a hurry that she tipped 
over the jury-box with the edge of her skirt, upsetting all 
the jurymen on to the heads of the crowd below, and there 
they lay sprawling about, reminding her very much of a 
globe of gold-fish she had accidentally upset the week 

"Oh, I beg your pardon!" she exclaimed in a tone of 
great dismay, and began picking them up again as quick- 
ly as she could, for the accident of the gold-fish kept run- 
ning in her head, and she had a vague sort of idea that 
they must be collected at once and put back into the 
jury-box, or they would die. 

"The trial cannot proceed," said the King, in a very 
grave voice, "until all the jurymen are back in their pro- 



per places — ^///' he repeated with great emphasis, looking 
hard at Alice as he said so. 

Alice looked at the jury-box, and saw that, in her haste, 
she had put the Lizard in head downwards, and the poor 
little thing was waving its tail about in a melancholy 
way, being quite unable to move. She soon got it out 
again, and put it right; "not that it signifies much," she 
said to herself; "I should think it would be quite as much 
use in the trial one way up as the other." 


As soon as the jury had a Httle recovered from the shock 
of being upset, and their slates and pencils had been 
found and handed back to them, they set to work very 
diligently to write out a history of the accident, all except 
the Lizard, who seemed too much overcome to^do any- 
thing but sit with its mouth open, gazing up intxjTthe roof 
of the court. 

"What do you know about this business?" the King 
said to Alice. 

"Nothing," said Alice. 

"Nothing whatever}'' persisted the King. 

"Nothing whatever," said Alice. I 

"That's very important," the King said, turning to the 
jury. They were just beginning to write this down on 
their slates, when the White Rabbit interrupted: "C//2im- 
portant, your Majesty means, of course," he said, in a very 
respectful tone, but frowning and making faces at him as 
he spoke. 

"f//2 important, of course, I meant," the King hastily 
said, and went on to himself in an undertone, "important 

— unimportant — unimportant — important " as if he 

were trying which word sounded best. 

Some of the jury wrote it down "important," and some 
"unimportant." Alice could see this, as she was near 
enough to look over their slates; "but it doesn't matter a 
bit," she thought to herself. 

At this moment the King, who had been for some time 
busily writing in his note-book, called out "Silence!" and 
read out from his book "Rule Forty-two. All persons 
more than a mile high to leave the courts 

Everybody looked at Alice. 

'Tm not a mile high," said Alice. 

"You are," said the King. 


Nearly two miles high," added the Queen. 


"Well, I sha'n't go, at any rate," said Alice; "besides, 
that's not a regular rule: you invented it just now." 

"It's the oldest rule in the book," said the King. 

"Then it ought to be Number One," said Alice. 

The King turned pale, and shut his note-book hastily. 
"Consider your verdict," he said to the jury, in a low 
trembling voice. 

"There's more evidence to come yet, please your Ma- 
jesty," said the White Rabbit, jumping up in a great 
hurry: "this paper has just been picked up." 

"What's in it?" said the Queen. 

"I haven't opened it yet," said the White Rabbit; "but 
it seems to be a letter, written by the prisoner to — to 

"It must have been that," said the King, "unless it was 
written to nobody, which isn't usual, you know." 

"Who is it directed to?" said one of the jurymen. 

"It isn't directed at all," said the White Rabbit: "in fact, 
there's nothing written on the outsider He unfolded the 
paper as he spoke, and added "It isn't a letter, after all: 
it's a set of verses." 

"Are they in the prisoner's handwriting?" asked an- 
other of the jurymen. 

"No, they're not," said the White Rabbit, "and that's 
the queerest thing about it." (The jury all looked puz- 

"He must have imitated somebody else's hand," said 
the King. (The jury all brightened up again.) 

"Please, your Majesty," said the Knave, "I didn't write 
it, and they ca'n't prove that I did : there's no name signed 
at the end." 

"If you didn't sign it," said the King, "that only makes 
the matter worse. You must have meant some mischief, 
or else you'd have signed your name like an honest man." 

126 Alice's adventures in wonderland 

There was a general clapping of hands at this: it was 
the first really clever thing the King had said that day. 

"That proves his guilt, o£ course," said the Queen : "so, 
off with " 

"It doesn't prove anything o£ the sort!" said Alice. 
"Why, you don't even know what they're about!" 

"Read them," said the King. 

The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. "Where shall 
I begin, please your Majesty?" he asked. 

"Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, 
"and go on till you come to the end: then stop." 

There was dead silence in the court, whilst the White 
Rabbit read out these verses: — 

''They told me you had been to her, 
And mentioned me to him: 
She gave me a good character, 
But said I could not swim. 

He sent them word I had not gone 

{We \now it to be true): 
If she should push the matter on, 

What would become of you? 

I gave her one, they gave him two. 

You gave us three or more; 
They all returned from him to you, 

Though they were mine before. 

If 1 or she should chance to be 

Involved in this affair, 
He trusts to you to set them free, 

Exactly as we were. 

My notion was that you had been 

(Before she had this fit) 
An obstacle that came between 

Him, and ourselves, and it. 


Dont let him \now she li\ed them best, 

For this must ever be 
A secret, \ept from all the rest. 

Between yourself and me!' 

"That's the most important piece of evidence we've 
heard yet," said the King, rubbing his hands; "so now 
let the jury " 

"If any one of them can explain it," said AUce, (she 
had grown so large in the last few minutes that she wasn't 
a bit afraid of interrupting him,) "I'll give him sixpence. 
/ don't believe there's an atom of meaning in it." 

The jury all wrote down, on their slates, ''She doesn't 
believe there's an atom of meaning in it," but none of 
them attempted to explain the paper. 

"If there's no meaning in it," said the King, "that 
saves a world of trouble, you know, as we needn't try to 
find any. And yet I don't know," he went on, spreading 
out the verses on his knee, and looking at them with one 
eye; "I seem to see some meaning in them, after all. 
* — said 1 could not stvim — ' you ca'n't swim, can you?" he 
added, turning to the Knave. 

The Knave shook his head sadly. "Do I look like it?" 
he said. (Which he certainly did not, being made entirely 
of cardboard.) 

"All right, so far," said the King; and he went on mut- 
tering over the verses to himself: '''We \notv it to be 
true — that's the jury, of course — 'If she should push the 
matter on — that must be the Queen — 'What tvould be- 
come of youV — What, indeed! — 7 gave her one, they 
gave him ttvd — why, that must be what he did with the 
tarts, you know " 

"But it goes on 'they all returned from, him to you^ " 
said Alice. 

"Why, there they are!" said the King triumphantly, 



pointing to the tarts on the table. "Nothing can be clearer 
than that. Then again — 'before she had this fif — you 
never had fits^ my dear, I think?" he said to the Queen. 

"Never!" said the Queen, 
furiously, throwing an 
inkstand at the Lizard as 
she spoke. (The unfortu- 
nate little Bill had left off 
w^riting on his slate with 
one finger, as he found it 
made no mark; but he 
now hastily began again, 
using the ink, that was 
trickling down his face, as 
long as it lasted.) 

"Then the words don't 
fit you," said the King 
looking round the court 
with a smile. There was a 
dead silence. 
"It's a pun!" the King 

added in an angry tone, and everybody laughed. "Let the 
jury consider their verdict," the King said, for about the 
twentieth time that day. 


"No, no!" said the Queen. "Sentence first — verdict af- 

"Stufif and nonsense!" said Alice loudly. "The idea of 
having the sentence first!" 

"Hold your tongue!" said the Queen, turning purple. 

"I won't!" said Alice. 

"Of? with her head!" the Queen shouted at the top of 
her voice. Nobody moved. 

"Who cares for you?'' said Alice (she had grown to her 
her full size by this time). "You're nothing but a pack 
of cards!" 

At this the whole pack rose up into the air, and came 
flying down upon her; she gave a little scream, half of 
fright and half of anger, and tried to beat them off, and 
found herself lying on the bank, with her head in the lap 
of her sister, who was gently brushing away some dead 
leaves that had fluttered down from the trees upon her 

"Wake up, Alice dear!" said her sister. "Why, what a 
long sleep you've had!" 

"Oh, I've had such a curious dream!" said Alice. And 
she told her sister, as well as she could remember them, 
all these strange Adventures of hers that you have just 
been reading about; and, when she had finished, her sis- 
ter kissed her, and said "It was a curious dream, dear, cer- 
tainly; but now run in to your tea: it's getting late." So 
Alice got up and ran off, thinking while she ran, as well 
she might, what a wonderful dream it had been. 

But her sister sat still just as she left her, leaning her 
head on her hand, watching the setting sun, and thinking 
of little Alice and all her wonderful Adventures, till she 
too began dreaming after a fashion, and this was her 
dream : — 

First, she dreamed about little Alice herself : once again 


the tiny hands were clasped upon her knee, and the bright 
eager eyes were looking up into hers — she could hear the 
very tones of her voice, and see that queer little toss of her 
head to keep back the wandering hair that would always 
get into her eyes — and still as she listened, or seemed to 


listen, the whole place around her became alive with the 
strange creatures of her little sister's dream. 

The long grass rustled at her feet as the White Rabbit 
hurried by — the frightened Mouse splashed his way 
through the neighbouring pool — she could hear the rattle 
of the teacups as the March Hare and his friends shared 
their never-ending meal, and the shrill voice of the Queen 
ordering of? her unfortunate guests to execution — once 
more the pig-baby was sneezing on the Duchess's knee, 
while plates and dishes crashed around it — once more the 
shriek of the Gryphon, the squeaking of the Lizard's 
slate-pencil, and the choking of the suppressed guinea- 
pigs, filled the air, mixed up with the distant sob of the 
miserable Mock Turtle. 

So she sat on, with closed eyes, and half believed her- 
self in Wonderland, though she knew she had but to open 
them again, and all would change to dull reality — the 
grass would be only rustling in the wind, and the pool 
rippling to the waving of the reeds — the rattling teacups 
would change to tinkling sheep-bells, and the Queen's 
shrill cries to the voice of the shepherd-boy — and the 
sneeze of the baby, the shriek of the Gryphon, and all the 
other queer noises, would change (she knew) to the con- 
fused clamour of the busy farm-yard — while the lowing 
of the cattle in the distance would take the place of the 
Mock Turtle's heavy- sobs. 

Lastly, she pictured to herself how this same little sister 
of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown wom- 
an; and how she would keep, through all her riper years, 
the simple and loving heart of her childhood; and how 
she would gather about her other little children, and make 
their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, 
perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long 


ago; and how she would feel with all their simple sor 
rows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, re- 
membering her own child-life, and the happy summer 



A »»»>»j >';►»;»'»>»»»»««««««««««««« A 











Through the 

and what Alice found there 




















V »»»»»»»»»»»»»««««««««««««« V 


Child of the pure unclouded brow 
And dreaming eyes of wonder! 

Though time be fleet, and I and thou 
And half a life asunder, 

Thy lotting smile will surely hail 

The love-gift of a fairy-tale. 

I have not seen thy sunny face, 
Nor heard thy silver laughter: 

No thought of me shall find a place 
In thy young life's hereafter — 

Enough that now thou wilt not fail 

To listen to my fairy-tale, 

A tale begun in other days, 

When summer suns were glowing — 
A simple chime, that served to time 

The rhythm of our rowing — 
Whose eohoes live in memory yet. 
Through envious years would say ''forget. 

Come, hear\en then, ere voice of dread, 

With bitter tidings laden. 
Shall summon to unwelcome bed 

A melancholy maid en I 
We are but older children, dear, 
Who fret to find our bedtime near, 


Without, the frost, the blinding snow, 
The storm-wind's moody madness — 
Within, the firelight's ruddy glow, 
And childhood's nest of gladness. 
The magic words shall hold thee fast: 
Thou shalt not heed the raving blast. 

And, though the shadow of a sigh 
May tremble through the story. 

For ''happy summer days" gone by. 
And vanish' d summer glory — 

It shall not touch, with breath of bale. 

The pleasance of our fairy-tale. 







'V//7////// %^/^/^ '6'^^0{^^ 

^^^ ^Ww ^^^ #& W^%^ 

^. « « ^ « 

^B ^^. ^^, 

•^^ ^^ ^p ><s. ^p 

?^5®^ ... *^^ 





White Pawn {Alice) to play, and win in eleven 




1. Alice meets R. Q. i6o 

2. Alice through Q's 

3d (by railway) 167 
to Q's 4th {Twee- 
dledum and 
Tweedledee) . 169 

3. Alice meets W. Q. 

{with shawl) . 194 

4. Alice to Q's 5th 

(shop, river, 
shop) . . . 201 

5. Alice to Q's 6th 

{Humpty Dump- 

ty) .... 208 

6. AHce to Q's 7th 

{forest) . . . 224 

7. W. Kt. takes R. Kt. 234 

8. Alice to Q's 8th 

{coronation ) . 249 

9. Alice becomes 

Queen . . . 250 

10. Alice castles {feast) 252 

11. Alice takes R. Q. 

& wins . . . 266 


1. R. Q. to K. R's 4th 167 

2. W. Q. to Q. B's 4th 

{after shawl) . 195 

3. W. Q. to Q. B's 

5th {becomes 

4. W. Q. to K. B's 8th 

{leaves egg on 

5. W. Q. to Q. B's 8th 

{flying from R. 
Kt,) .... 

6. R. Kt. to K's 2nd 

(ch.) . . . 

7. W. Kt. to K. B's 

5th .... 

8. R. Q. to K's sq. 

{examination) . 252 

9. Queens castle . 
10. W. Q. to Q. R's 6th 

{soup) . . . 










As the chess-problem, given on the previous page, has 
puzzled some of my readers, it may be w^ell to explain that 
it is correctly v^orked out, so far as the moves are con- 
cerned. The alternation of Red and White is perhaps not 
so strictly observed as it might be, and the "castling" of 
the three Queens is merely a way of saying that they en- 
tered the palace; but the "check" of the White King at 
move 6, the capture of the Red Knight at move 7, and the 
final "checkmate" of the Red King, will be found, by any 
one who will take the trouble to set the pieces and play 
the moves as directed, to be strictly in accordance with the 
laws of the game. 

The new words, in the poem "Jabberwocky" (see p. 
153), have given rise to some differences of opinion as to 
their pronunciation : so it may be well to give instructions 
on that point also. Pronounce "slithy" as if it were the two 
words "sly, the": make the "g" hard in "gyre" and "gim- 
ble" : and pronounce "rath" to rhyme with "bath." 

For this sixty-first thousand, fresh electrotypes have 
been taken from the wood-blocks (which, never having 
been used for printing from, are in as good condition as 
when first cut in 1871), and the whole book has been set 
up afresh with new type. If the artistic qualities of this re- 
issue fall short, in any particular, of those possessed by 
the original issue, it will not be for want of painstaking on 
the part of author, publisher, or printer. 

I take this opportunity of announcing that the Nursery 
"Alice," hitherto priced at four shillings, net, is now to be 


had on the same terms as the ordinary shiUing picture- 
books — although I feel sure that it is, in every quality (ex- 
cept the text itself, in which I am not qualified to pro- 
nounce), greatly superior to them. Four shillings was a 
perfectly reasonable price to charge, considering the very 
heavy initial outlay I had incurred: still, as the Public 
have practically said "We will not give more than a shill- 
ing for a picture-book, however artistically got-up," I am 
content to reckon my outlay on the book as so much dead 
loss, and, rather than let the little ones, for whom it was 
written, go without it, I am selling it at a price which is, 
to me, much the same thing as giving it away. 

Christmas, 1896 

Chapter I 

Looking-Glass House 

One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had 
nothing to do with it — it was the black kitten's fault en- 
tirely. For the white kitten had been having its face 
washed by the old cat for the last quarter of an hour 
(and bearing it pretty well, considering) : so you see that 
it couldnt have had any hand in the mischief. 

The way Dinah washed her children's faces was this: 
first she held the poor thing down by its ear with one 
paw, and then with the other paw she rubbed its face all 
over, the wrong way, beginning at the nose: and just now, 
as I said, she was hard at work on the white kitten, which 
was lying quite still and trying to purr — no doubt feeling 
that it was all meant for its good. 

But the black kitten had been finished with earlier in 
the afternoon, and so, while Alice was sitting curled up in 
a corner of the great armchair, half talking to herself and 
half asleep, the kitten had been having a grand game of 
romps with the ball of worsted Alice had been trying to 



wind up, and had been rolling it up and down till it had 
all come undone again; and there it was, spread over the 
hearth-rug, all knots and tangles, with the kitten running 
after its own tail in the middle. 

"Oh, you wicked, wicked little thing!" cried Alice, 
catching up the kitten, and giving it a little kiss to make 
it understand that it was in disgrace. "Really, Dinah 
ought to have taught you better manners! You ought, 
Dinah, you know you ought!" she added, looking re- 



proachfuUy at the old cat, and speaking in as cross a voice 
as she could manage — and then she scrambled back into 
the arm-chair, taking the kitten and the worsted with 
her, and began winding up the ball again. But she didn't 
get on very fast, as she was talking all the time, some- 
times to the kitten, and sometimes to herself. Kitty sat 
very demurely on her knee, pretending to watch the 
progress of the winding, and now and then putting out 
one paw and gently touching the ball, as if it would be 
glad to help if it might. 

"Do you know what to-morrow is, Kitty?" Alice began. 
"You'd have guessed if you'd been up in the window with 
me — only Dinah was making you tidy, so you couldn't. I 
was watching the boys getting in sticks for the bonfire — 
and it wants plenty of sticks, Kitty! Only it got so cold, 
and it snowed so, they had to leave off. Never mind, we'll 
go and see the bonfire to-morrow." Here Alice wound 
two or three turns of the worsted round the kitten's neck, 
just to see how it would look: this led to a scramble, in 
which the ball rolled down upon the floor, and yards and 
yards of it got unwound again. 

"Do you know, I was so angry, Kitty," Alice went on, 
as soon as they were comfortably settled again, "when I 
saw all the mischief you had been doing, I was very 
nearly opening the window, and putting you out into the 
snow! And you'd have deserved it, you little mischievous 
darling! What have you got to say for yourself? Now 
don't interrupt me!" she went on, holding up one finger. 
"I'm going to tell you all your faults. Number one: you 
squeaked twice while Dinah was washing your face this 
morning. Now you ca'n't deny it, Kitty: I heard you! 
What's that you say?" (pretending that the kitten was 
^speaking). "Her paw went into your eye? Well, that's 
your fault, for keeping your eyes open — if you'd shut 


them tight up, it wouldn't have happened. Now don't 
make any more excuses, but hsten! Number two: you 
pulled Snowdrop away by the tail just as I had put down 
the saucer of milk before her! What, you were thirsty, 
were you? How do you know she wasn't thirsty too? 
Now for number three: you unwound every bit of the 
worsted while I wasn't looking! 

"That's three faults, Kitty, and you've not been pun- 
ished for any of them yet. You know I'm saving up all 
your punishments for Wednesday week — Suppose they 
had saved up all my punishments?" she went on, talking 
more to herself than the kitten. "What would they do at 
the end of a year? I should be sent to prison, I suppose, 
when the day came. Or — let me see — suppose each pun- 
ishment was to be going without a dinner: then, when 
the miserable day came, I should have to go without fifty 
dinners at once! Well, I shouldn't mind that much! I'd 
far rather go without them than eat them! 

"Do you hear the snow against the window-panes, Kit- 
ty? How nice and soft it sounds! Just as if some one was 
kissing the window all over outside. I wonder if the snow 
loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? 
And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white 
quilt; and perhaps it says 'Go to sleep, darlings, till the 
summer comes again.' And when they wake up in the 
summer, Kitty, they dress themselves all in green, and 
dance about — whenever the wind blows — oh, that's very 
pretty!" cried Alice, dropping the ball of worsted to clap 
her hands. "And I do so wish it was true! I'm sure the 
woods look sleepy in the autumn, when the leaves are 
getting brown. 

"Kitty, can you play chess? Now, don't smile, my dear, 
I'm asking it seriously. Because, when we were playing 
just now, you watched just as if you understood it: and 


when I said 'Check!' you purred! Well, it was a nice 
check, Kitty, and really I might have won, i£ it hadn't 
been for that nasty Knight, that came wriggling down 

among my pieces. Kitty, dear, let's pretend " And here 

I wish I could tell you half the things Alice used to say, 
beginning with her favourite phrase "Let's pretend." She 
had had quite a long argument with her sister only the 
day before — all because Alice had begun with "Let's pre- 
tend we're kings and queens;" and her sister, who liked 
being very exact, had argued that they couldn't, because 
there were only two of them, and Alice had been reduced 
at last to say "Well, you can be one of them, then, and I'll 
be all the rest." And once she had really frightened her old 
nurse by shouting suddenly in her ear, "Nurse! Do let's 
pretend that I'm a hungry hyaena, and you're a bone!'^ 

But this is taking us away from Alice's speech to the 
kitten. "Let's pretend that you're the Red Queen, Kitty! 
Do you know, I think if you sat up and folded your 
arms, you'd look exactly like her. Now do try, there's a 
dear!" And Alice got the Red Queen off the table, and set 
it up before the kitten as a model for it to imitate: how- 
ever, the thing didn't succeed, principally, Alice said, be- 
cause the kitten wouldn't fold its arms properly. So, to 
punish it, she held it up to the Looking-glass, that it might 
see how sulky it was, " — and if you're not good directly," 
she added, "I'll put you through into Looking-glass 
House. How would you like that} 

"Now, if you'll only attend, Kitty, and not talk so much, 
I'll tell you all my ideas about Looking-glass House. First, 
there's the room you can see through the glass — that's just 
the same as our drawing-room, only the things go the 
other way. I can see all of it when I get upon a chair — 
all but the bit just behind the fireplace. Oh! I do so wish I 
could see that bit! I want so much to know whether 






they've a fire in the winter: you never can tell, you know, 
unless our fire smokes, and then smoke comes up in that 
room too — but that may be only pretence, just to make it 
look as if they had a fire. Well then, the books are some- 
thing like our books, only the words go the wrong way : 
I know that^ because I've held up one of our books to the 
glass, and then they hold up one in the other room. 
"How would you like to live in Looking-glass House, 



■•'''''■'' U'i||,l"' 

't , lii '!>, \' , 

Kitty ? I wonder if they'd give you milk in there ? _Per- 
jia£S_ Looking-glass milk isn't good to drink — but oh, 
Kitty! now we come to the passage. You can just see a 
little peep of the passage in Looking-glass House, if you 
leave the door of our drawing-room wide open: and it's 
very like our passage as far as you can see, only you know 
it may be quite different on beyond. Oh, Kitty, how nice 
it would be if we could only get through into Looking- 
glass House! I'm sure it's got, oh! such beautiful things 


in it! Let's pretend there's a way of getting through into 
it, somehow, Kitty. Let's pretend the glass has got all soft 
like gauze, so that we can get through. Why, it's turning 
into a sort of mist now, I declare! It'll be easy enough to 

get through " She was up on the chimney-piece while 

she said this, though she hardly knew how she had got 
there. And certainly the glass was beginning to melt away, 
just like a bright silvery mist. 

In another moment Alice was through the glass, and 
had jumped lightly down into the Looking-glass room. 
The very first thing she did was to look whether there was 
a fire in the fireplace, and she was quite pleased to find that 
there was a real one, blazing away as brightly as the one 
she had left behind. "So I shall be as warm here as I was 
in the old room," thought Alice: "warmer, in fact, be- 
cause there'll be no one here to scold me away from the 
fire. Oh, what fun it'll be, when they see me through the 
glass in here, and ca'n't get at me!" 

Then she began looking about, and noticed that what 
could be seen from the old room was quite common and 
uninteresting, but that all the rest was as different as pos- 
sible. For instance, the pictures on the wall next the fire 
seemed to be all alive, and the very clock on the chimney- 
piece (you know you can only see the back of it in the 
Looking-glass) had got the face of a little old man, and 
grinned at her. 

"They don't keep this room so tidy as the other," Alice 
thought to herself, as she noticed several of the chessmen 
down in the hearth among the cinders; but in another 
moment, with a little "Oh!" of surprise, she was down on 
her hands and knees watching them. The chessmen were 
walking about, two and two! 

"Here are the Red King and the Red Queen," Alice 
said (in a whisper, for fear of frightening them), "and 


there are the White King and the White Queen sitting 
on the edge o£ the shovel — and here are two Castles walk- 
ing arm in arm — I don't think they can hear me," she 
went on, as she put her head closer down, *'and I'm 
nearly sure they ca'n't see me. I feel somehow as if I was 
getting invisible " 

Here something began squeaking on the table behind 
Alice, and made her turn her head just in time to see one 
of the White Pawns roll over and begin kicking: she 
watched it with great curiosity to see what would happen 

"It is the voice of my child!" the White Queen cried out, 
as she rushed past the King, so violently that she knocked 
him over among the cinders. "My precious Lily! My im- 
perial kitten!" and she began scrambling wildly up the 
side of the fender. 

l|!,i.'!,i''M||iifi'i.,ii/f if.i'ii'' i.T 


"Imperial fiddlestick P' said the King, rubbing his nose, 
which had been hurt by the fall. He had a right to be a 
little annoyed with the Queen, for he was covered with 
ashes from head to foot. 

Alice was very anxious to be of use, and, as the poor 
little Lily was nearly screaming herself into a fit, she 
hastily picked up the Queen and set her on the table by 
the side of her noisy little daughter. 

The Queen gasped, and sat down: the rapid journey 
through the air had quite taken away her breath, and for 
a minute or two she could do nothing but hug the little 
Lily in silence. As soon as she had recovered her breath 
a little, she called out to the White King, who was sitting 
sulkily among the ashes, "Mind the volcano!" 

"What volcano?" said the King, looking up anxiously 
into the fire, as if he thought that was the most likely place 
to find one. 

"Blew — me — up," panted the Queen, who was still a lit- 
tle out of breath. "Mind you come up — the regular way — 
don't get blown up!" 

Alice watched the White King as he slowly struggled 
up from bar to bar, till at last she said "Why, you'll be 
hours and hours getting to the table, at that rate. I'd far 
better help you, hadn't I?" But the King took no notice 
of the question: it was quite clear that he could neither 
hear her nor see her. 

So Alice picked him up very gently, and lifted him 
across more slowly than she had lifted the Queen, that 
she mightn't take his breath away; but, before she put 
him on the table, she thought she might as well dust him 
a little, he was so covered with ashes. 

She said afterwards that she had never seen in all her 
life such a face as the King made, when he found him- 
self held in the air by an invisible hand, and being dusted: 



he was far too much astonished to cry out, but his eyes 
and his mouth went on getting larger and larger, and 
rounder and rounder, till her hand shook so with laugh- 
ing that she nearly let him drop upon the floor. 

"Oh! please don't make such faces, my dear!" she cried 
out, quite forgetting that the King couldn't hear her. "You 
make me laugh so that I can hardly hold you! And don't 
keep your mouth so wide open! All the ashes will get into 
it — there, now I think you're tidy enough!" she added, as 
she smoothed his hair, and set him upon the table near the 

The King immediately fell flat on his back, and lay 
perfectly still; and Alice was a little alarmed at what she 
had done, and went round the room to see if she could 
find any water to throw over him. However, she could 
find nothing but a bottle of ink, and when she got back 




with it she found he had recovered, and he and the Queen 
were talking together in a frightened whisper — so low, 
that Alice could hardly hear what they said. 

The King was saying "I assure you, my dear, I turned 
cold to the very ends of my whiskers!" 

To which the Queen replied "You haven't got any 
whiskers." " 

"The horror of that moment," the King went on, "I 
shall never, never forget!" 

"You will, though," the Queen said, "if you don't make 
a memorandum of it." 

Alice looked on with great interest as the King took an 
enormous memorandum-book out of his pocket, and be- 
gan writing. A sudden thought struck her, and she took 
hold of the end of the pencil, which came some way over 
his shoulder, and began writing for him. 

The poor King looked puzzled and unhappy, and 
struggled with the pencil for some time without saying 
anything; but Ahce was too strong for him, and at last he 
panted out "My dear! I really must get a thinner pencil. I 


ca'n't manage this one a bit : it writes all manner of things 
that I don't intend " 

"What manner of things?" said the Queen, looking 
over the book (in which Alice had put ^The White 
Knight is sliding down the po\er. He balances very bad- 
ly'), "That's not a memorandum of your feelings!" 

There was a book lying near Alice on the table, and 
while she sat watching the White King (for she was still 
a little anxious about him, and had the ink all ready to 
throw over him, in case he fainted again), she turned over 
the leaves, to find some part that she could read, " — for 
it's all in some language I don't know," she said to herself. 

It was like this. 

•.^^Vivw ^^\ x\\ •b\<iw\^ Viwji ^•^v(^ ViQ 

She puzzled over this for some time, but at last a bright 
thought struck her. "Why, it's a Looking-glass book, of 
course! And, if I hold it up to a glass, the words will all 
go the right way again." 

This was the poem that Alice read 


'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves 

Did gyre and gimble in the wabt: 
All mimsy were the b ore gave s, 

And the mome raths outgrabe, 

'* Beware the ]abberwoc\, my son! 

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! 
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun 
The jrumious Bandersnatch!" 



'^^^n'jw^ ...- 

<C> '"" -'"'—'•' 

He too\ his vorpal sword in hand: 

Long time the manxome joe he sought- 
So rested he by the Tumtum tree, 
And stood awhile in thought. 



And, as in uffish thought he stood, . 

The ]abberwoc}{, with eyes of flame, 
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood, 
And burbled as it camel 

One, two! One, two! And through and through 

The vorpal blade went snicl{er-snac\! 
He left it dead, and with its head 
He went galumphing bac\, 

'* And hast thou slain the ]abberwoc\? 

Come to my arms, my beamish boy! 
O frabjous day! Callooh! C allay!'' 
He chortled in his joy, 

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves 

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: 
All mimsy were the borogoves. 

And the mcme raths outgrabe, 

"It seems very pretty," she said when she had finished 
it, "but it's rather hard to understand!" (You see she did- 
n't hke to confess, even to herself, that she couldn't make 
it out at all.) "Somehow it seems to fill my head with 
ideas — only I don't exactly know what they are! How- 
ever, somebody killed something: that's clear, at any rate 


"But oh!" thought Alice, suddenly jumping up, "if I 
don't make haste, I shall have to go back through the 
Looking-glass, before I've seen what the rest of the house 
is like! Let's have a look at the garden first!" She was out 
of the room in a moment, and ran down stairs — or, at 
least, it wasn't exactly running, but a new invention for 
getting down stairs quickly and easily, as Alice said to 
herself. She just kept the tips of her fingers on the hand- 
rail, and floated gently down without even touching the 


Stairs with her feet : then she floated on through the hall, 
and would have gone straight out at the door in the same 
way, i£ she hadn't caught hold o£ the door-post. She was 
getting a little giddy with so much floating in the air, and 
was rather glad to find herself walking again in the natu- 
ral way. 

Chapter II 
The Garden of Live Flowers 

"I SHOULD see the garden far better," said Alice to her- 
self, "if I could get to the top of that hill: and here's a path 
that leads straight to it — at least, no, it doesn't do that 
" (after going a few yards along the path, and turn- 
ing several sharp corners), "but I suppose it will at last. 
But how curiously it twists! It's more like a cork-screw 
than a path! Well this turn goes to the hill, I suppose — 
no, it doesn't! This goes straight back to the house! Well 
then, I'll try it the other way." 

And so she did: wandering up and down, and trying 
turn after turn, but always coming back to the house, do 
what she would. Indeed, once, when she turned a corner 
rather more quickly than usual, she ran against it before 
she could stop herself. 

"It's no use talking about it," Alice said, looking up at 
the house and pretending it was arguing with her. "I'm 
not going in again yet. I know I should have to get 
through the Looking-glass again — back into the old room 
— and there'd be an end of all my adventures!" 

So, resolutely turning her back upon the house, she set 
out once more down the path, determined to keep straight 



on till she got to the hill. For a few minutes all went on 
well, and she was just saying "I really shall do it this time 
" when the path gave a sudden twist and shook it- 
self (as she described it afterwards), and the next moment 
she found herself actually walking in at the door. 

"Oh, it's too bad!" she cried. "I never saw such a house 
for getting in the way! Never!" 

However, there was the hill full in sight, so there was 
nothing to be done but start again. This time she came 


upon a large flower-bed, with a border of daisies, and a 
willow-tree growing in the middle. 

"O Tiger-lily!" said Alice, addressing herself to one that 
was waving gracefully about in the wind, "I wish you 
could talk!" 

"We can talk," said the Tiger-lily, "when there's any- 
body worth talking to." 

Alice was so astonished that she couldn't speak for a 
minute: it quite seemed to take her breath away. At 
length, as the Tiger-lily only went on waving about, she 
spoke again, in a timid voice — almost in a whisper. "And 
can all the flowers talk?" 

"As well as you can," said the Tiger-lily. "And a great 
deal louder." 

"It isn't manners for us to begin, you know," said the 
Rose, "and I really was wondering when you'd speak! 
Said I to myself, 'Her face has got some sense in it, though 
it's not a clever one!' Still, you're the right colour, and that 
goes a long way." 

"I don't care about the colour," the Tiger-lily remarked. 
"If only her petals curled up a little more, she'd be all 

Alice didn't like being criticized, so she began asking 
questions. "Aren't you sometimes frightened at being 
planted out here, with nobody to take care of you?" 

"There's the tree in the middle," said the Rose. "What 
else is it good for?" 

"But what could it do, if any danger came?" Alice 

"It could bark," said the Rose. 

"It says ^Boughwough!" cried a Daisy. "That's why its 
branches are called boughs!" 

"Didn't you know that}'' cried another Daisy. And 
here they all began shouting together, till the air seemed 


quite full of little shrill voices. "Silence, every one of you!" 
cried the Tiger-lily, waving itself passionately from side 
to side, and trembling with excitement. "They know I 
ca'n't get at them!" it panted, bending its quivering head 
towards Alice, "or they wouldn't dare to do it!" 

"Never mind!" AHce said in a soothing tone, and, 
stooping down to the daisies, who were just beginning 
again, she whispered "If you don't hold your tongues, I'll 
pick you!" 

There was silence in a moment, and several of the pink 
daisies turned white. 

"That's right!" said the Tiger-lily. "The daisies are 
worst of all. When one speaks, they all begin together, 
and it's enough to make one wither to hear the way they 
go on! 

"How is it you can all talk so nicely?" Alice said, hop- 
ing to get it into a better temper by a comphment. "I've 
been in many gardens before, but none of the flowers 
could talk." 

"Put your hand down, and feel the ground," said the 
Tiger-lily. "Then you'll know why." 

Alice did so. "It's very hard," she said; "but I don't see 
what that has to do with it." 

"In most gardens," the Tiger-hly said, "they make the 
beds too soft — so that the flowers are always asleep." 

This sounded a very good reason, and Alice was quite 
pleased to know it. "I never thought of that before!" she 

"It's my opinion that you never think at all^' the Rose 
said, in a rather severe tone. 

"I never saw anybody that looked stupider," a Violet 
said, so suddenly, that Ahce quite jumped; for it hadn't 
spoken before. 

"Hold your tongue!" cried the Tiger-lily. "As if you 


ever saw anybody! You keep your head under the leaves, 
and snore away there, till you know no more what's go- 
ing on in the world, than if you were a bud!" 

"Are there any more people in the garden besides me?'* 
Alice said, not choosing to notice the Rose's last remark. 

"There's one other flower in the garden that can move 
about like you," said the Rose. "I wonder how you do it 

" ("You're always wondering," said the Tiger-lily), 

"but she's more bushy than you are." 

"Is she like me?'] Alice asked eagerly, for the thought 
crossed her mind, "There's another little girl in the garden, 

"Well, she has the same awkward shape as you," the 
Rose said: "but she's redder — and her petals are shorter, 
I think." 

"They're done up close, like a dahlia," said the Tiger- 
lily: "not tumbled about, like yours." 

"But that's not your fault," the Rose added kindly. 
"You're beginning to fade, you know — and then one ca'n't 
help one's petals getting a little untidy." 

Alice didn't like this idea at all: so, to change the sub- 
ject, she asked "Does she ever come out here?" 

"I daresay you'll see her soon," said the Rose. "She's one 
of the kind that has nine spikes, you know." 

"Where does she wear them?" Alice asked with some 

"Why, all round her head, of course," the Rose replied. 
"I was wondering you hadn't got some too. I thought it 
was the regular rule." 

"She's coming!" cried the Larkspur. "I hear her foot- 
step, thump, thump, along the gravel-walk!" 

Alice looked round eagerly and found that it was the 
Red Queen. "She's grown a good deal!" was her first re- 
mark. She had indeed : when Alice first found her in the 


ashes, she had been only three inches high — and here she 
was, half a head taller than Alice herself! 

"It's the fresh air that does it," said the Rose: "wonder- 
fully fine air it is, out here." 

"I think ril go and meet her," said Alice, for, though 
the flowers were interesting enough, she felt that it would 
be far grander to have a talk with a real Queen. 

"You ca'n't possibly do that," said the Rose: "/ should 
advise you to walk the other way." 

This sounded nonsense to Alice, so she said nothing, 
but set off at once towards the Red Queen. To her sur- 
prise she lost sight of her in a moment, and found herself 
walking in at the front-door again. 


A little provoked, she drew back, and, after looking 
everywhere for the Queen (whom she spied out at last, a 
long way off), she thought she would try the plan, this 
time, of walking in the opposite direction. 

It succeeded beautifully. She had not been walking a 
minute before she found herself face to face with the Red 
Queen, and full in sight of the hill she had been so long 
aiming at. 

"Where do you come from?" said the Red Queen. 
"And where are you going? Look up, speak nicely, and 
don't twiddle your fingers all the time." 

Alice attended to all these directions, and explained, as 
well as she could, that she had lost her way. 

"I don't know what you mean by your way," said the 
Queen: "all the ways about here belong to me — but why 
did you come out here at all?" she added in a kinder tone. 
"Curtsey while you're thinking what to say. It saves time." 

Alice wondered a little at this, but she was too much in 
awe of the Queen to disbelieve it. "I'll try it when I go 
home," she thought to herself, "the next time I'm a little 
late for dinner." 

"It's time for you to answer now," the Queen said look- 
ing at her watch: "open your mouth a little wider when 
you speak, and always say 'your Majesty.' " 

"I only wanted to see what the garden was like, your 
Majesty " 

"That's right," said the Queen, patting her on the head, 
which Alice didn't like at all: "though, when you say 
'garden' — Vve seen gardens, compared with which this 
would be a wilderness." 

Alice didn't dare to argue the point, but went on: " — 
and I thought I'd try and find my way to the top of that 
hill " 

"When you say 'hill,' " the Queen interrupted, "/ could 


show you hills, in comparison with which you'd call that 
a valley." 

"No, I shouldn't," said Alice, surprised into contra- 
dicting her at last: "a hill cant be a valley, you know. 
That would be nonsense " 

The Red Queen shook her head. "You may call it *non- 
sense' if you like," she said, "but I've heard nonsense, com- 
pared with which that would be as sensible as a diction- 



i Alice curtseyed again, as she was afraid from the 
Queen's tone that she was a little offended: and they 
walked on in silence till they got to the top of the little hill. 

For some minutes Alice stood without speaking, look- 
ing out in all directions over the country — and a most 
curious country it was. There were a number of tiny little 
brooks running straight across it from side to side, and 
the ground between was divided up into squares by a 
number of little green hedges, that reached from brook to 

"I declare it's marked out just like a large chess-board!" 



Alice said at last. "There ought to be some men moving 
about somewhere — and so there are!" she added in a tone 
of delight, and her heart began to beat quick with ex- 
citement as she went on. "It's a great huge game of chess 
that's being played — all over the world — if this is the 
world at all, you know. Oh, what fun it is! How I wish I 
was one of them! I wouldn't mind being a Pawn, if only 
I might join — though of course I should li\e to be a 
Queen, best." 

She glanced rather shyly at the real Queen as she said 
this, but her companion only smiled pleasantly, and said 
"That's easily managed. You can be the White Queen's 
Pawn, if you like, as Lily's too young to play ; and you're 
in the Second Square to begin with : when you get to the 
Eighth Square you'll be a Queen " Just at this mo- 
ment, somehow or other, they began to run. 

Alice never could quite make out, in thinking it over 
afterwards, how it was that they began : all she remembers 
is, that they were running hand in hand, and the Queen 
went so fast that it was all she could do to keep up with 
her: and still the Queen kept crying "Faster! Faster!" but 
Alice felt she could not go faster, though she had no 
breath left to say so. 

The most curious part of the thing was, that the trees 
and the other things round them never changed their 
places at all : however fast they wxnt, they never seemed to 
pass anything. "I wonder if all the things move along 
with us?" thought poor puzzled Alice. And the Queen 
seemed to guess her thoughts, for she cried "Faster! 
Don't try to talk!" 

Not that Alice had any idea of doing that. She felt as 
if she would never be able to talk again, she was getting so 
much out of breath: and still the Queen cried "Faster! 


J'' I 



Faster!" and dragged her along. "Are we nearly there?" 
Alice managed to pant out at last. 

"Nearly there!" the Queen repeated. "Why, we passed 
it ten minutes ago! Faster!" And they ran on for a time 
in silence, with the wind whistling in Alice's ears, and 
almost blowing her hair off her head, she fancied. 

"Now! Now!" cried the Queen. "Faster! Faster!" And 
they went so fast that at last they seemed to skim through 
the air, hardly touching the ground with their feet, till 
suddenly, just as Alice was getting quite exhausted, they 
stopped, and she found herself sitting on the ground, 
breathless and giddy. 

The Queen propped her up against a tree, and said 
kindly, "You may rest a little, now." 

Alice looked round her in great surprise. "Why, I do 
believe we've been under this tree the whole time! Every- 
thing's just as it was!" 

"Of course it is," said the Queen. "What would you 
have it?" 


"Well, in our country," said Alice, still panting a little, 
"you'd generally get to somewhere else — if you ran very 
fast for a long time as we've been doing." 

"A slow sort of country!" said the Queen. "Now, here, 
you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the 
same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must 
run at last twice as fast as that!" 

"I'd rather not try, please!" said Alice. "I'm quite con- 
tent to stay here — only I am so hot and thirsty!" 

"I know what you'd like!" the Queen said good-natur- 
edly, taking a little box out of her pocket. "Have a bis- 

Alice thought it would not be civil to say "No," though 
it wasn't at all what she wanted. She she took it, and ate 
it as well as she could: and it was t^ery dry: and she 
thought she had never been so nearly choked in all her 

"While you're refreshing yourself," said the Queen, "I'll j 
just take the measurements." And she took a ribbon out 
of her pocket, marked in inches, and began measuring 
the ground, and sticking little pegs in here and there. 

"At the end of two yards," she said, putting in a peg to 
mark the distance, "I shall give you your directions — 
have another biscuit?" 

"No, thank you," said Alice: "one's quite enough!" 

"Thirst quenched, I hope?" said the Queen. 

Alice did not know what to say to this, but luckily the 
Queen did not wait for an answer, but went on. "At the 
end of three yards I shall repeat them — for fear of yout 
forgetting them. At the end of four, I shall say good-bye. 
And at the end of fit/e, I shall go!" 

She had got all the pegs put in by this time, and Alice 
looked on with great interest as she returned to the tree, 
and then began slowly walking down the row. 


At the two-yard peg she faced round, and said "A 
pawn goes two squares in its first move, you know. So 
you'll go very quickly through the Third Square — by 
railway, I should think — and you'll find yourself in the 
Fourth Square in no time. Well, that square belongs to 
Tweedledum and Tweedledee — the Fifth is mostly water 
— the Sixth belongs to Humpty Dumpty — But you make 
no remark?" 

"I — I didn't know I had to make one — just then," Alice 
faltered out. 

"You should have said," the Queen went on in a tone 
of grave reproof, " *It's extremely kind of you to tell me 
all this' — however, we'll suppose it said — the Seventh 
Square is all forest — however, one of the Knights will 
show you the way — and in the Eighth Square we shall be 
Queens together, and it's all feasting and fun!" Alice got 
up and curtseyed, and sat down again. 

At the next peg the Queen turned again, and this time 
she said "Speak in French when you ca'n't think of the 
English for a thing — turn out your toes as you walk — and 
remember who you are!" She did not wait for Alice to 
curtsey, this time, but walked on quickly to the next peg, 
where she turned for a moment to say "Good-bye," and 
then hurried on to the last. 

How it happened, Alice never knew, but exactly as she 
came to the last peg, she was gone. Whether she vanished 
into the air, or whether she ran quickly into the wood 
("and she can run very fast!" thought Alice), there was 
no way of guessing, but she was gone, and Alice began to 
remember that she was a Pawn, and that it would soon be 
time for her to move. 

Chapter III 
Looking-Glass Insects 

Of course the first thing to do was to make a grand sur- 
vey of the country she was going to travel through. "It's 
something very Uke learning geography," thought Alice, 
•as she stood on tiptoe in hopes of being able to see a little 
further. "Principal rivers — there are none. Principal 
mountains — I'm on the only one, but I don't think it's got 
any name. Principal towns — why, what are those creat- 
ures, making honey down there? They ca'n't be bees — 

nobody ever saw bees a mile off, you know " and for 

some time she stood silent, watching one of them that was 
bustling about among the flowers, poking its proboscis 
into them, "just as if it was a regular bee," thought Alice. 

However, this was anything but a regular bee : in fact, it 
was an elephant — as Alice soon found out, though the 
idea quite took her breath away at first. "And what enor- 
mous flowers they must be!" was her next idea. "Some- 
thing like cottages with the roofs taken oflF, and stalks put 
to them — and what quantities of honey they must make! 
I think I'll go down and — no, I wo'n't go just yet," she 
went on, checking herself just as she was beginning to run 
down the hill, and trying to find some excuse for turning 
shy so suddenly. "It'll never do to go down among them 
without a good long branch to brush them away — and 
what fun it'll be when they ask me how I liked my walk. 

I shall say *Oh, I liked it well enough ' (here came the 

favourite little toss of the head), 'only it was so dusty and 
hot, and the elephants did tease so!' " 

"I think I'll go down the other way," she saia after a 
pause; "and perhaps I may visit the elephants later on. 
Besides, I do so want to get into the Third Square!" 



So, with this excuse, she ran down the hill, and jumped 
over the first of the six little brooks. 

^ M, ^ 4^ ^ 


^P ^T w 


"Tickets, please!" said the Guard, putting his head in at 
the window. In a moment everybody was holding out a 
ticket: they were about the same size as the people, and 
quite seemed to fill the carriage. 

"Now then! Show your ticket, child!" the Guard went 
on, looking angrily at Alice. And a great many voices all 
said together ("like the chorus of a song," thought Alice) 
"Don't keep him waiting, child! Why, his time is worth a 
thousand pounds a minute!" 

"I'm afraid I haven't got one," Alice said in a frightened 
tone: "there wasn't a ticket-office where I came from." 
And again the chorus of voices went on. "There wasn't 
room for one where she came from. The land there is 
worth a thousand pounds an inch!" 

"Don't make excuses," said the Guard: "you should 
have bought one from the engine-driver." And once more 
the chorus of voices went on with "The man that drives 
the engine. Why, the smoke alone is worth a thousand 
pounds a puflf!" 

Alice thought to herself "Then there's no use in speak- 
ing." The voices didn't join in, this time, as she hadn't 
spoken, but, to her great surprise, they all thought in 
chorus (I hope you understand what thinking in chorus 
means — for I must confess that / don't), "Better say noth- 
ing at all. Language is worth a thousand pounds a word!" 

"I shall dream about a thousand pounds tonight, I 
know I shall!" thought Alice. 

All this time the Guard was looking at her, first 
through a telescope, then through a microscope, and then 


through an opera-glass. At last he said "You're traveling 
the wrong way," and shut up the window, and went 
"So young a child," said the gentleman sitting opposite 

to her, (he was dressed in white paper,) "ought to know 
which way she's going, even if she doesn't know her own 

A Goat, that was sitting next to the gentleman in white, 
shut his eyes and said in a loud voice, "She ought to know 
her way to the ticket-office, even if she doesn't know her 
alphabet!" ^ 

There was a Beetle sitting next the Goat (it was a very j 
queer carriage-full of passengers altogether), and, as the 
rule seemed to be that they should all speak in turn, he 
went on with "She'll have to go back from here as lug- 


Alice couldn't see who was sitting beyond the Beetle, 

but a hoarse voice spoke next. "Change engines " it 

said, and there it choked and was obliged to leave oflF. 

"It sounds like a horse," Alice thought to herself. And 
an extremely small voice, close to her ear, said "You might 

make a joke on that — something about 'horse' and 'hoarse,' you know." 

Then a very gende voice in the distance said, "She must 
be labeled *Lass, with care,' you know " 

And after that other voices went on ("What a number 
of people there are in the carriage!" thought Ahce), say- 
ing "She must go by post, as she's got a head on her " 

"She must be sent as a message by the telegraph " "She 

must draw the train herself the rest of the way ," and 

so on. 

But the gentleman dressed in white paper leaned for- 
wards and whispered in her ear, "Never mind what they 
all say, my dear, but take a return-ticket every time the 
train stops." 

"Indeed I sha'n't!" Alice said rather impatiendy. "I 
don't belong to this railway journey at all— I was in a 
wood just now— and I wish I could get back there!" 

"You might make a joke on that," said the little VoicC cloSC tO 
her ear: "something about Vou would if you could/ you know." 

"Don't tease so," said Alice, looking about in vain to see 
where the voice came from. "If you're so anxious to have 
a joke made, why don't you make one yourself?" 

The litde voice sighed deeply. It was very unhappy, evi- 
dendy, and Alice would have said something pitying to 
comfort it, "if it would only sigh like other people!" she 
thought. But this was such a wonderfully small sigh, that 
she wouldn't have heard it at ill, if it hadn't come quite 
close to her ear. The consequence of this was that it 
tickled her ear very much, and quite took off her thoughts 
from the unhappiness of the poor Httle creature. 


"I know you are a friend," the little Voice Went OH I '*a dear 

friend, and an old friend. And you wo'n't hurt me, though I am an 

"What kind of insect?" Alice inquired, a little anxious- 
ly. What she really wanted to know was, whether it could 
sting or not, but she thought this wouldn't be quite a civil 
question to ask. 

**What, then you don't—" the little voice began, when it was 
drowned by a shrill scream from the engine, and every- 
body jumped up in alarm, Alice among the rest. 

The Horse, who had put his head out of the window, 
quietly drew it in and said "It's only a brook we have to 
jump over." Everybody seemed satisfied with this, though 
Alice felt a litde nervous at the idea of trains jumping at 
all. "However, it'll take us into the Fourth Square, that's 
some comfort!" she said to herself. In another moment 
she felt the carriage rise straight up into the air, and in her 
fright she caught at the thing nearest to her hand, which 
happened to be the Goat's beard. 

# # # ^ * 

:j|: # # # # 

But the beard seemed to melt way as she touched it, 
and she found herself sitting quietly under a tree— while 
the Gnat (for that was the insect she had been talking to) 
was balancing itself on a twig just over her head, and fan- 
ning her with its wings. 

It certainly was a very large Gnat: "about the size of a 
chicken," Alice thought. Still, she couldn't feel nervous 
with it, after they had been talking together so long. 

"—then you don't like all insects ?" the Gnat went on, as 
quiedy as if nothing had happened. 


"I like them when they can talk," Alice said. "None o£ 
them ever talk, where / come from." 

"What sort of insects do you rejoice in, where you come 
from?" the Gnat inquired. 

"I don't rejoice in insects at all," Alice explained, "be- 
cause I'm rather afraid of them — at least the large kinds. 
But I can tell you the names of some of them." 

"Of course they answer to their names?" the Gnat re- 
marked carelessly. 

"I never knew them do it." 

"What's the use of their having names," the Gnat said, 
"if they wo'n't answer to them?" 

"No use to them^' said Alice; "but it's useful to the 
people that name them, I suppose. If not, why do things 
have names at all?" 

"I ca'n't say," the Gnat replied. "Further on, in the 
wood down there, they've got no names — however, go on 
with your list of insects: you're wasting time." 

"Well, there's the Horse-fly," Alice began, counting off 
the names on her fingers. 

"All right," said the Gnat. "Half way up that bush, 
you'll see a Rocking-horse-fly, if you look. It's made en- 
tirely of wood, and gets about by swinging itself from 
branch to branch." 

"What does it live on?" Alice asked, with great curios- 

"Sap and sawdust," said the Gnat. "Go on with the 

Alice looked at the Rocking-horse-fly with great inter- 
est, and made up her mind that it must have been just re- 
painted, it looked so bright and sticky ; and then she went 

"And there's the Dragon-fly." 

"Look on the branch above your head," said the Gnat, 


"and there you'll find a Snap-dragon-fly. Its body is made 
o£ plum-pudding, its wings of holly-leaves, and its head is 
a raisin burning in brandy." 

"And what does it live on?" Alice asked, as before. 

"Frumenty and mince-pie," the Gnat replied; "and it 
makes its nest in a Christmas-box." 

"And then there's the Butterfly," Alice went on, after 
she had taken a good look at the insect with its head on 
fire, and had thought to herself, "I wonder if that's the 
reason insects are so fond of flying into candles — because 
they want to turn into Snap-dragon-flies!" 

"Crawling at your feet," said the Gnat (Alice drew her 
feet back in some alarm), "you may observe a Bread-and- 
butter-fly. Its wings are thin slices of bread-and-butter, it's 
body is a crust, and its head is a lump of sugar." 

"And what does it live on?" 

"Weak tea with cream in it." 

A new difficulty came into Alice's head. "Supposing it 
couldn't find any?" she suggested. 

"Then it would die, of course." 


"But that must happen very often," AUce remarked 
"It always happens," said the Gnat. 
After this, Alice was silent for a minute or two, ponder- 

ing. The Gnat amused itself meanwhile by humming 
round and round her head : at last it settled again and re- 
marked "I suppose you don't want to lose your name.f^" 

"No, indeed," Alice said, a little anxiously. 

"And yet I don't know," the Gnat went on in a careless 
tone: "only think how convenient it would be if you could 
manage to go home without it! For instance, if the gov- 
erness wanted to call you to your lessons, she would call 

out 'Come here ,' and there she would have to leave 

off, because there wouldn't be any name for her to call, 
and of course you wouldn't have to go, you know." 

"That would never do, I'm sure," said Alice: "the gov- 
erness would never think of excusing me lessons for that. 
If she couldn't remember my name, she'd call me 'Miss,' 
as the servants do." 

"Well, if she said 'Miss,' and didn't say anything more," 


the Gnat remarked, "of course you'd miss your lessons. 
That's a joke. I wish you had made it." 

"Why do you wish / had made it?" AHce asked. "It's a 
very bad one." 

But the Gnat only sighed deeply while two large tears 
came rolling down its cheeks. 

""You shouldn't make jokes," Alice said, "if it makes 
you so unhappy." ^ 

Then came another of those melancholy little sighs, and 
this time the poor Gnat really seemed to have sighed itself 
away, for, when Alice looked up, there was nothing what- 
ever to be seen on the twig, and, as she was getting quite 
chilly with sitting still so long, she got up and walked on. 

She very soon came to an open field, with a wood on the 
other side of it : it looked much darker than the last wood, 
and Alice felt a little timid about going into it. However, 
on second thoughts, she made up her mind to go on : "for 
J certainly won't go bac\^'' she thought to herself, and this 
was the only way to the Eighth Square. 


"This must be the wood," she said thoughtfully to her- 
self, "where things have no names. I wonder what'U be- 
come of my name when I go in? I shouldn't like to lose 

it at all because they'd have to give me another, and it 

would be almost certain to be an ugly one. But then the 
fun would be, trying to find the creature that had got my 
old name! That's just like the advertisements, you know, 

when people lose dogs 'answers to the name of 

''Dash": had on a brass collar just fancy calling every- 
thing you met 'Alice,' till one of them answered! Only 
they wouldn't answer at all, if they were wise." 

She was rambling on in this way when she reached the 
wood: it looked very cool and shady. "Well, at any rate 
it's a great comfort," she said as she stepped under the 
trees, "after being so hot, to get into the — into the — into 
what}'' she went on, rather surprised at not being able to 
think of the word. "I mean to get under the— under the — 
under this, you know!" putting her hand on the trunk of 
the tree. "What does it call itself, I wonder? I do believe 
it's got no name — why, to be sure it hasn't!" 

She stood silent for a minute, thinking: then she sud- 
denly began again. "Then it really has happened, after all! 
And now, who am I? I tvill remember, if I can! I'm de- 
termined to do it!" But being determined didn't help her 
much, and all she could say, after a great deal of puzzling, 
was "L, I \now it begins with L!" 

Just then a Fawn came wandering by : it looked at Alice 
with its large gentle eyes, but didn't seem at all frightened. 
"Here then! Here then!" Alice said, as she held out her 
hand and tried to stroke it; but it only started back a little, 
and then stood looking at her again. 

"What do you call yourself?" the Fawn said at last. 
Such a soft sweet voice it had! 


"I wish I knew!" thoughv poor Alice. She answered, 
rather sadly, "Nothing, just now." 

"Think again," it said: "that wo'n't do." 

Alice thought, but nothing came of it. "Please, would 
you tell me what you call yourself?" she said timidly. "I 
think that might help a little." 


"I'll tell you, if you'll come a little further on," the 
Fawn said. "I ca'n't remember hereT 

So they walked on together through the wood, Alice 
with her arms clasped lovingly round the soft neck of the 
Fawn, till they came out into another open field, and here 
the Fawn gave a sudden bound into the air, and shook it- 
self free from Alice's arm. "I'm a Fawn!" it cried out in a 
voice of delight. "And, dear me! you're a human child!" 



A sudden look of alarm came into its beautiful brown 
eyes, and in another moment it had darted away at full 

Alice Stood looking after it, almost ready to cry with 
vexation at having lost her dear little fellow-traveler so 
suddenly. "However, I know my name now," she said: 
"that's some comfort. Alice — Alice — I won't forget it 
again. And now, which of these finger-posts ought I to 
follow, I wonder?" 

It was not a very difficult question to answer, as there 
was only one road through the wood, and the two finger- 
posts both pointed along it. "I'll settle it," Alice said to 
herself, "when the road divides and they point difJerent 

But this did not seem likely to happen. She went on and 
on, a long way, but wherever the road divided, there were 
sure to be two finger-posts pointing the same way, one 
marked "TO TWEEDLEDUM'S HOUSE," and the 

"I do believe," said Alice at last, "that they live in the 
same house! I wonder I never thought of that before — 
But I ca'n't stay there long. I'll just call and say 'How d'ye 
do?' and ask them the way out of the wood. If I could 
only get to the Eighth Square before it gets dark!" So she 
wandered on, talking to herself as she went, till, on turn- 
ing a sharp corner, she came upon two fat little men, so 
suddenly that she could not help starting back, but in an- 
other moment she recovered herself, feeling sure that they 
must be. 

Chapter IV 

Tweedledum and Tweedledee 

They were standing under a tree, each with an arm 
round the other's neck, and AUce knew which was which 
in a moment, because one of them had 'DUM' em- 
broidered on his collar, and the other 'DEE.' "I suppose 


they've each got 'TWEEDLE' round at the back of the 
collar," she said to herself. 

They stood so still that she quite forgot they were alive, 
and she was just going round to see if the word 'TWEE- 
DLE' was written at the back of each collar, when she 
was startled by a voice coming from the one marked 


"If you think we're wax-works," he said, "you ought to 



pay, you know. Wax-works weren't made to be looked at 
for nothing. Nohow!" 

"Contrariwise," added the one marked 'DEE,' "i£ you 
think we're aUve, you ought to speak." 
I "I'm sure I'm very sorry," was all Alice could say; for 
the words of the old song kept ringing through her head 
like the ticking of a clock, and she could hardly help say- 
ing them out loud : — 

''Tweedledum and Tweedledee 
Agreed to have a battle; 
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee 
Had spoiled his nice new rattle. 

Just then flew down a monstrous crow, 
^ As blac\ as a tar-barrel; 

Which frightened both the heroes so, 
They quite forgot their quarrel." 

"I know what you're thinking about," said Tweedle- 
dum; "but it isn't so, nohow." 

"Contrariwise," continued Tweedledee, "if it was so, it 
might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it 
ain't. That's logic." 

"I was thinking," Alice said politely, "which is the best 
way out of this wood: it's getting so dark. Would you tell 
me, please?" 

But the fat little men only looked at each other and 

They looked so exactly like a couple of great school- 
boys, that Alice couldn't help pointing her finger at Twee- 
dledum, and saying "First Boy!" 

"Nohow!" Tweedledum cried out briskly, and shut his 
mouth up again with a snap. 

'Next Boy!" said Alice, passing on to Tweedledee, 



though she felt quite certain he would only shout out 
"Contrariwise!" and so he did. 

"You've begun wrong!" cried Tweedledum. "The first 
thing in a visit is to say *How d'ye do?' and shake hands!" 
And here the two brothers gave each other a hug, and 
then they held out the two hands that were free, to shake 
hands with her. 

Alice did not like shaking hands with either of them 
first, for fear of hurting the other one's feelings ; so, as the 
best way out of the difficulty, she took hold of both hands 
at once: the next moment they were dancing round in a 
ring. This seemed quite natural (she remembered after- 
wards), and she was not even surprised to hear music 
playing: it seemed to come from the tree under which 
they were dancing, and it was done (as well as she could 
make it out) by the branches rubbing one across the other, 
like fiddles and fiddle-sticks. 

"But it certainly was funny," (Alice said afterwards, 
when she was telling her sister the history of all this,) "to 
find myself singing 'Here we go round the mulberry 
bush' I don't know when I began it, but somehow I felt 
as if I'd been singing it a long long time!" 

The other two dancers were fat, and very soon out of 
breath. "Four times round is enough for one dance," 
Tweedledum panted out, and they left off dancing as sud- 
denly as they had begun : the music stopped at the same 

Then they let go of Alice's hands, and stood looking at 
her for a minute: there was a rather awkward pause, as 
Alice didn't know how to begin a conversation with 
people she had just been dancing with. "It would never 
do to say *How d'ye do?' now^' she said to herself: "we 
seem to have got beyond that, somehow!" 

"I hope you're not much tired ? " she said at last. 


"Nohow. And thank you very much for asking," said 

"So much obUged!" added Tweedledee. "You Hke 

"Ye-es, pretty well — some poetry," Alice said doubtfully. 
"Would you tell me which road leads out of the wood?" 

"What shall I repeat to her?" said Tweedledee, look- 
ing round at Tweedledum with great solemn eyes, and 
not noticing Alice's question. 

" 'The Walrus and the Carpenter is the longest," Twee- 
dledum replied, giving his brother an affectionate hug. 

Tweedledee began instantly : 

tf-n 7 . . . - 7 • - • f> 

The sun was shining 

Here Alice ventured to interrupt him. "If it's very 
long," she said, as politely as she could, "would you please 
tell me first which road " 

Tweedledee smiled gently, and began again: 

'^The sun was shining on the sea. 

Shining with all his might: 
He did his very best to ma\e 

The billows smooth and bright — 
And this was odd, because it was 

The middle of the night. 

The moon was shining sul\ily. 

Because she thought the sun 
Had got no business to be there 

After the day was done — 
'It's very rude of him,' she said, 

'To come and spoil the funV 

The sea was wet as wet could be. 
The sands were dry as dry. 



You could not see a cloud, because 
No cloud was in the s\y: 
No birds were flying overhead — 
There were no birds to fly. 



The Walrus and the Carpenter 
Were walking close at hand: 

They wept li\e anything to see 
Such quantities of sand: 

'If this were only cleared away' 
They said, 'it would be grand I* 

'If seven maids with seven mops 
Swept it for half a year, 

Do you suppose,' the Walrus said, 
'That they could get it clear?* 

'1 doubt it' said the Carpenter, 
And shed a bitter tear. 

'O Oysters, come and wal\ with us!' 
The Walrus did beseech. 


*A pleasant wal\, a pleasant tal\, 

Along the briny beach: 
We cannot do with more than jour, 

To give a hand to each! 



The eldest Oyster loo\ed at him, 

But never a word he said: 
The eldest Oyster win\ed his eye. 

And shoo\ his heavy head — 
Meaning to say he did not choose 

To leave the oyster-bed. 

But jour young Oysters hurried up. 

All eager jor the treat: 
Their coats were brushed, their jaces washed. 

Their shoes were clean and neat — 
And this was odd, because, you \now. 

They hadnt any jeet. 

Four other Oysters jollowed them. 
And yet another jour; 


And thic\ and fast they came at last, 
And more, and more, and more — 

All hopping through the frothy waves. 
And scrambling to the shore. 

The Walrus and the Carpenter 

Wal\ed on a mile or so. 
And then they rested on a roc\ 

Conveniently lotu: 
And all the little Oysters stood 

And waited in a row, 

'The time has come/ the Walrus said, 
'To tal\ of many things: 

Of shoes — and ships — and sealing wax— 
Of cabbages — and — \ings — 

And why the sea is boiling hot — 
And whether pigs have wings/ 

'But wait a bit/ the Oysters cried, 
'Before we have our chat; 

For some of us are out of breath. 
And all of us are fat!' 

'No hurry!' said the Carpenter. 

They than\ed him much for that. 

'A loaf of bread ' the Walrus said, 

'Is what we chiefly need: 
Pepper and vinegar besides 

Are very good indeed — 
Now, if you re ready, Oysters dear, 

We can begin to feed/ 

'But not on us!' the Oysters cried. 

Turning a little blue. 
'After such \indness, that would be 

A dismal thing to doV 
'The night is fine/ the Walrus said. 

'Do you admire the view? 



'It was so \ind of you to come! 

And you are very niceV 
The Carpenter said nothing but 

'Cut us another slice, 
I wish you were not quite so deaf — 

Ft/e had to as\ you twiceV 



'It seems a shame' the Walrus said 
'To play them such a tric\. 

After we've brought them out so far. 
And made them trot so quic\l' 

The Carpenter said nothing but 
'The butter's spread too thic\l' 


7 weep for you' the Walrus said: 

7 deeply sympathize.' 
With sobs and tears he sorted out 

Those of the largest size, 
Holding his pocket- handkerchief 

Before his streaming eyes. 


'O Oysters,* said the Carpenter, 

*Youve had a pleasant runt 
Shall we be trotting home again?' 

But answer came there none — 
And this was scarcely odd, because 

They'd eaten every one J' 

"I like the Walrus best," said Alice: "because he was a 
little sorry for the poor oysters." 

"He ate more than the Carpenter, though," said Twee- 
dledee. "You see he held his handkerchief in front, so that 
the Carpenter couldn't count how many he took: con- 

"That was mean!" Alice said indignantly. "Then I like 
the Carpenter best — if he didn't eat so many as the Wal- 

"But he ate as many as he could get," said Tweedledum. 

This was a puzzler. After a pause, Alice began, "Well! 

They were both very unpleasant characters " Here she 

checked herself in some alarm, at hearing something that 
sounded to her like the puffing of a large steam-engine in 
the wood near them, though she feared it was more likely 
to be a wild beast. "Are there any lions or tigers about 
here?" she asked timidly. 

"It's only the Red King snoring," said Tweedledee. 

"Come and look at him!" the brothers cried, and they 
each took one of Alice's hands, and led her up to where 
the King was sleeping. 

"Isn't he a lovely sight?" said Tweedledum. 

Alice couldn't say honestly that he was. He had a tall 
red night-cap on, with a tassel, and he was lying crumpled 

up into a sort of untidy heap, and snoring loud "fit to 

snore his head off!" as Tweedledum remarked. 

"I'm afraid he'll catch cold with lying on the damp 
grass," said Alice, who was a very thoughtful little girl. 


"He's dreaming now," said Tweedledee: "and what do 
you think he's dreaming about?" 
I AHce said "Nobody can guess that." 
I "Why, about youV Tweedledee exclaimed, clapping his 
hands triumphantly. "And if he left oflf dreaming about 
you, where do you suppose you'd be?" 

"Where I am ^ow, of course," said Alice. 

"Not you!" Tweedledee retorted contemptuously. 
"You'd be nowhere. Why, you're only a sort of thing in 
his dream!" 

"If that there King was to wake," added Tweedledum,, 
"you'd go out — bang! — just like a candle!" 

"I shouldn't!" Alice exclaimed indignantly. "Besides, if 
Fm only a sort of thing in his dream, what are you, I 
should like to know?" 

"Ditto," said Tweedledum. 

"Ditto, ditto!" cried Tweedledee. 

He shouted this so loud that Alice couldn't help say- 
ing "Hush! You'll be waking him, I'm afraid, if you 
make so much noise." 


"Well, it's no use your talking about waking him," said 
Tweedledum, "when you're only one of the things in his 
dream. You know very well you're not real." 

"I am real!" said Alice, and began to cry. 

"You wo'n't make yourself a bit realler by crying," 
Tweedledee remarked: "there's nothing to cry about." 




^^P^^^/>^^ ^; 

"If I wasn't real," Alice said — half laughing through 
her tears, it all seemed so ridiculous — "I shouldn't be able 
to cry." 

"I hope you don't suppose those are real tears?" Twee- 
dledum interrupted in a tone of great contempt. 

"I know they're talking nonsense," Alice thought to 
herself: "and it's foolish to cry about it." So she brushed 
away her tears, and went on, as cheerfully as she could, 
"At any rate I'd better be getting out of the wood, for 
really it's coming on very dark. Do you think it's going to 
ram r 

Tweedledum spread a large umbrella over himself and 


his brother, and looked up into it. "No, I don't think it 
is/' he said : "at least — not under here. Nohow." 

"But it may rain outsideV 

"It may — if it chooses," said Tweedledee: "we've no 
objection. Contrariwise." 

"Selfish things!" thought Alice, and she was just going 
to say "Good-night" and leave them, when Tweedledum 
sprang out from under the umbrella, and seized her by 
the wrist. 

"Do you see thatV he said, in a voice choking with pas- 
sion, and his eyes grew large and yellow all in a moment, 
I as he pointed with a trembling finger at a small white 
thing lying under the tree. 

I "It's only a rattle," Alice said, after a careful examina- 
tion of the little white thing. "Not a x2X\\.^'Sna\e , you 
know," she added hastily, thinking that he v^as fright- 
ened : "only an old rattle — quite old and broken." 

"I know it was!" cried Tweedledum, beginning to 

stamp about wildly and tear his hair. "It's spoilt, of 

course!" Here he looked at Tweedledee, who immediately 

sat down on the ground, and tried to hide himself under 

j the umbrella. 

Alice laid her hand upon his arm and said, in a soothing 
tone, "You needn't be so angry about an old rattle." 

"But it isnt old!" Tweedledum cried, in a greater fury 
than ever. "It's new, I tell you — I bought it yesterday — my 
nice NEW RATTLE!" and his voice rose to a perfect 

All this time Tweedledee was trying his best to fold up 
the umbrella, with himself in it : which was such an extra- 
ordinary thing to do, that it quite took off Alice's attention 
from the angry brother. But he couldn't quite succeed, 
and it ended in his rolling over, bundling up in the um- 
brella, with only his head out: and there he lay, opening 




and shutting his mouth and his large eyes- 
more like a fish than anything else," Alice thought. 

"Of course you agree to have a battle?" Tweedledum 
said in a calmer tone. 

"I suppose so," the other sulkily replied, as he crawled 
out o£ the umbrella : "only she must help us to dress up, 
you know." 

So the two brothers went oflE hand-in-hand into the 
wood, and returned in a minute with their arms full of 
things — such as bolsters, blankets, hearth-rugs, table- 
cloths, dish-covers, and coal-scuttles. "I hope you're a good 
hand at pinning and tying strings?" Tweedledum re- 
marked. "Every one of these things has got to go on, 
somehow or other." 

Alice said afterwards she had never seen such a fuss 
made about anything in all her life — the way those two 
bustled about — and the quantity of things they put on — 


and the trouble they gave her in tying strings and fasten- 
ing buttons — "Really they'll be more like bundles of old 
clothes than anything else, by the time they're ready!" she 
said to herself, as she arranged a bolster round the neck of 
Tweedledee, "to keep his head from being cut off," as he 

"You know," he added very gravely, "it's one of the 
most serious things that can possibly happen to one in a 
battle — to get one's head cut off." 

Alice laughed loud : but she managed to turn it into a 
cough, for fear of hurting his feelings. 

"Do I look very pale?" said Tweedledum, coming up to 
have his helmet tied on. (He called it a helmet, though it 
certainly looked much more like a saucepan.) 

"Well — yes — a little^'' Alice replied gently. 

"I'm very brave, generally," he went on in a low voice: 
"only to-day I happen to have a headache." 

"And I've got a toothache!" said Tweedledee, who had 
overheard the remark. "I'm far worse than you!" 

"Then you'd better not fight to-day," said Alice, think- 
ing it a good opportunity to make peace. 

"We must have a bit of a fight, but I don't care about 
going on long," said Tweedledum. "What's the time 
now r 

Tweedledee looked at his watch, and said "Half-past 

"Let's fight till six, and then have dinner," said Twee- 

"Very well," the other said, rather sadly: "and she can 
watch us — only you'd better not come very close," he add- 
ed: "I generally hit every thing I can see — when I get 
really excited." 

"And / hit every thing within reach," cried Tweedle- 
dum, "whether I can see it or not!" 


Alice laughed. "You must hit the trees pretty often, I 
should think," she said. 

Tweedledum looked round him with a satisfied smile. 
"I don't suppose," he said, "there'll be a tree left standing, 
for ever so far round, by the time we've finished!" 

"And all about a rattle!" said Alice, still hoping to make 
them a little ashamed of fighting for such a trifle. 

"I shouldn't have minded it so much," said Tweedle- 
dum, "if it hadn't been a new one." 

"I wish the monstrous crow would come!" thought 

"There's only one sword, you know," Tweedledum said 
to his brother: "but you can have the umbrella — it's quite 
as sharp. Only we must begin quick. It's getting as dark 
as it can." M 

"And darker," said Tweedledee. I 

It was getting dark so suddenly that Alice thought there 
must be a thunderstorm coming on. "What a thick black 
cloud that is!" she said. "And how fast it comes! Why, I 
do believe it's got wings!" 

"It's the crow!" Tweedledum cried out in a shrill voice 
of alarm; and the two brothers took to their heels and 
were out of sight in a moment. 

Alice ran a little way into the wood, and stopped under 
a large tree. "It can never get at me here^' she thought: 
"it's far too large to squeeze itself in among the trees. But 
I wish it wouldn't flap its wings so — it makes quite a hur- 
ricane in the wood — here's somebody's shawl being blown 

Chapter V 

Wool and Water 

She caught the shawl as she spoke, and looked about 
for the owner: in another moment the White Queen 
came running wildly through the wood, with both arms 
stretched out wide, as if she were flying, and Alice very 
civilly went to meet her with the shawl. 

"I'm very glad I happened to be in the way," Alice said, 
as she helped her to put on her shawl again. 

The White Queen only looked at her in a helpless 
frightened sort of way, and kept repeating something in a 
whisper to herself that sounded like "Bread-and-butter, 
bread-and-butter," and Alice felt that if there was to be 
any conversation at all, she must manage it herself. So 
she began rather timidly: "Am I addressing the White 

"Well, yes, if you call that a-dressing," the Queen said. 
"It isn't my notion of the thing, at all." 

Alice thought it would never do to have an argument 
at the very beginning of their conversation, so she smiled 
and said "If your Majesty will only tell me the right way 
to begin, I'll do it as well as I can." 

"But I don't want it done at all!" groaned the poor 
Queen. "I've been a-dressing myself for the last two 

It would have been all the better, as it seemed to Alice, if 
she had got some one else to dress her, she was so dread- 
fully untidy. "Every single thing's crooked," Alice thought 

to herself, "and she's all over pins! May I put your 

shawl straight for you?" she added aloud. 

"I don't know what's the matter with it!" the Queen 
said, in a melancholy voice. "It's out of temper, I think. 



I've pinned it here, and I've pinned it there, but there's no 

pleasing it!" 

"It cant go straight, you know, if you pin it all on one 
side," Alice said, as she gently put it right for her; "and 
dear me, what a state your hair is in!" 

"The brush has got entangled in it!" the Queen said 
with a sigh. "And I lost the comb yesterday." 

Alice carefully released the brush, and did her best to 
get the hair into order. "Come, you look rather better 
now!" she said, after altering most of the pins. "But really 
you should have a lady's-maid!" 

"I'm sure I'll take you with pleasure!" the Queen said. 
"Two pence a week, and jam every other day." 

Alice couldn't help laughing, as she said "I don't want 
you to hire w^— and I don't care for jam." 




"It's very good jam," said the Queen. 

"Well, I don't want any to-day, at any rate." 

"You couldn't have it if you did want it," the Queen 
said. "The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday — but 
never jam to-day T 

"It must come sometimes to *jam to-day,' " Alice ob- 

"No, it ca'n't," said the Queen. "It's jam every other 
day: to-day isn't any other day, you know." 

"I don't understand you," said Alice. "Its dreadfully 

"That's the effect of living backwards," the Queen said 
kindly : "it always makes one a little giddy at first " 

"Living backwards!" Alice repeated in great astonish- 
ment. "I never heard of such a thing!" 

" — ^but there's one great advantage in it, that one's 
memory works both ways." 



"I'm sure mine only works one way," Alice remarked. 
"I ca'n't remember things before they happen." 

"It's a poor sort of memory that only works back- 
wards," the Queen remarked. 

"What sort of things do you remember best?" Alice 
ventured to ask. 

"Oh, things that happened the week after next," the 
Queen replied in a careless tone. "For instance, now," she 
went on, sticking a large piece of plaster on her finger as 
she spoke, "there's the King's Messenger. He's in prison 
now, being punished : and the trial doesn't even begin till 
next Wednesday: and of course the crime comes last of 

"Suppose he never commits the crime?" said Alice. 

"That would be all the better, wouldn't it?" the Queen 
said, as she bound the plaster round her finger with a bit 
of ribbon. 

Alice felt there was no denying that. "Of course it 
would be all the better," she said : "but it wouldn't be all 
the better his being punished." 

"You're wrong there, at any rate," said the Queen. 
"Were you ever punished?" 

"Only for faults," said Alice. 

"And you were all the better for it, I know!" the Queen 
said triumphantly. 

"Yes, but then I had done the things I was punished 
for," said Alice: "that makes all the difference." 

"But if you hadnt done them," the Queen said, "that 
would have been better still; better, and better, and bet- 
ter!" Her voice went higher with each "better," till it got 
quite to a squeak at last. 

Alice was just beginning to say "There's a mistake 

somewhere ," when the Queen began screaming, so 

loud that she had to leave the sentence unfinished. "Oh, 


oh, oh!" shouted the Queen, shaking her hand about as 
if she wanted to shake it off. "My finger's bleeding! Oh, 
. oh, oh, oh!" 

Her screams were so exactly like the whistle of a steam- 
engine, that Alice had to hold both her hands over her 

"What is the matter?" she said, as soon as there was a 
chance of making herself heard. "Have you pricked your 

"I haven't pricked it yet^'' the Queen said, "but I soon 
shall — oh, oh, oh!" 

"When do you expect to do it?" Alice said, feeling very 
much inclined to laugh. 

"When I fasten my shawl again," the poor Queen 
groaned out: "the brooch will come undone directly. Oh, 
oh!" As she said the words the brooch flew open, and the 
Queen clutched wildly at it, and tried to clasp it again. 

"Take care!" cried Alice. "You're holding it all crook- 
ed!" And she caught at the brooch; but it was too late: the 
pin had slipped, and the Queen had pricked her finger. 

"That accounts for the bleeding, you see," she said to 
Alice with a smile. "Now you understand the way things 
happen here." 

"But why don't you scream now}'' Alice asked, holding 
her hands ready to put over her ears again. 

"Why, I've done all the screaming already," said the 
Queen. "What would be the good of having it all over 

agam : 

By this time it was getting light. "The crow must have 
flown away, I think," said Alice: "I'm so glad it's gone. I 
thought it was the night coming on." 

"I wish / could manage to be glad!" the Queen said. 
"Only I never can remember the rule. You must be very 


happy, living in this wood, and being glad whenever you 

"Only it is so very lonely here!" Alice said in a melan- 
choly voice; and, at the thought of her loneliness, two 
large tears came rolling down her cheeks. 

"Oh, don't go on like that!" cried the poor Queen, 
wringing her hands in despair. "Consider what a great 
girl you are. Consider what a long way you've come to- 
day. Consider what o'clock it is. Consider anything, only 
don't cry!" 

Alice could not help laughing at this, even in the midst 
o£ her tears. "Can you keep from crying by considering 
things?" she asked. 

"That's the way it's done," the Queen said with great 
decision: "nobody can do two things at once, you know. 

Let's consider your age to begin with how old are 


"I'm seven and a half, exactly." 

"You needn't say 'exactly,' " the Queen remarked. "I 
can believe it without that. Now I'll give you something 
to believe. I'm just one hundred and one, five months and 
a day." 

"I ca'n't believe thatV said Alice. 

"Ca'n't you?" the Queen said in a pitying tone. "Try 
again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes." 

Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said: "one 
cant believe impossible things." 

"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the 
Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for halt-an- 
hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six 
impossible things before breakfast. There goes the shawl 

The brooch had come undone as she spoke, and a sud- 
den gust of wind blew the Queen's shawl across a little 


brook. The Queen spread out her arms again and went 
flying after it, and this time she succeeded in catching it 
herself. "I've got it!" she cried in triumphant tone. "Now 
you shall see me pin it on again, all by myself!" 

"Then I hope your finger is better now?" Alice said 
very politely, as she crossed the little brook after the 

41, ^ ^ 4k ^ 

tP "7p tp ^p It 


^ tP ^F 'rr w 

"Oh, much better!" cried the Queen, her voice rising in- 
to a squeak as she went on. "Much be-etter! Be-etter! 
Be-e-e-etter! Be-e-ehh!" The last word ended in a long 
bleat, so like a sheep that Alice quite started. 

She looked at the Queen, who seemed to have suddenly 
wrapped herself up in wool. Alice rubbed her eyes, and 
looked again. She couldn't make out what had happened 
at all. Was she in a shop? And was that really — was it 
really a sheep that was sitting on the other side of the 
counter ? Rub as she would, she could make nothing more 
of it : she was in a little dark shop, leaning with her elbows 
on the counter, and opposite to her was an old Sheep, sit- 
ting in an arm-chair, knitting, and every now and then 
leaving off to look at her through a great pair of spectacles. 

"What is it you want to buy?" the Sheep said at last, 
looking up for a moment from her knitting. 

"I don't quite know yet," Alice said very gently. "I 
should like to look all round me first, if I might." 

"You may look in front of you, and on both sides, if you 
like," said the Sheep; "but you ca'n't look all round you — 
unless you've got eyes at the back of your head." 

But these, as it happened, Alice had not got: so she con- 
tented herself with turning round, looking at the shelves 
as she came to them. 




The shop seemed to be full of all manner of curious 
things — but the oddest part of it all was that, whenever 
she looked hard at any shelf, to make out exactly what it 
had on it, that particular shelf was always quite empty, 
though the others round it were crowded as full as they 
could hold. 

"Things flow about so here!" she said at last in a plain- 
tive tone, after she had spent a minute or so in vainly pur- 
suing a large bright thing that looked sometimes like a 
doll and sometimes like a work-box, and was always in 
the shelf next above the one she was looking at. "And this 
one is the most provoking of all — but I'll tell you what 
" she added, as a sudden thought struck her. "I'll fol- 


low it up to the very top shelf of all. It'll puzzle it to go 
through the ceiling, I expect!" 

But even this plan failed: the *thing' went through the 
ceiling as quietly as possible, as if it were quite used to it. 

"Are you a child or a teetotum?" the Sheep said, as she 
took up another pair of needles. "You'll make me giddy 
soon, if you go on turning round like that." She was now 
working with fourteen pairs at once, and Alice couldn't 
help looking at her in great astonishment. 

"How can she knit with so many?" the puzzled child 
thought to herself. "She gets more and more like a porcu- 
pine every minute!" 

"Can you row?" the Sheep asked, handing her a pair of 
knitting-needles as she spoke. 

"Yes, a little — but not on land — and not with needles 

" Alice was beginning to say, when suddenly the 

needles turned into oars in her hands, and she found they 
were in a little boat, gliding along between banks: so 
there was nothing for it but to do her best. 

"Feather!" cried the Sheep, as she took up another pair 
of needles. 

This didn't sound like a remark that needed any an- 
swer: so Alice said nothing, but pulled away. There was 
something very queer about the water, she thought, as 
every now and then the oars got fast in it, and would 
hardly come out again. 

"Feather! Feather!" the Sheep cried again, taking more 
needles. "You'll be catching a crab directly." 

"A dear little crab!" thought Alice. "I should like that." 

"Didn't you hear me say Teather'?" the Sheep cried 
angrily, taking up quite a bunch of needles. 

"Indeed I did," said Alice: "you've said it very often — 
and very loud. Please where are the crabs?" 

"In the water, of course!" said the Sheep, sticking some 


of the needles into her hair, as her hands were full. "Feath- 
er, I say!" 

''Why do you say Teather' so often?" Alice asked at 
last, rather vexed. "I'm not a bird!" 

"You are," said the Sheep: "you're a little goose." 

This offended Alice a little, so there was no more con- 
versation for a minute or two, while the boat glided gent- 
ly on, sometimes among beds of weeds (which made the 
oars stick fast in the water, worse than ever), and some- 
times under trees, but always with the same tall river- 
banks frowning over their heads. 

"Oh, please! There are some scented rushes!" Alice 
cried in a sudden transport of delight. "There really are — 
and such beauties!" 

"You needn't say 'please' to me about 'em," the Sheep 
said, without looking up from her knitting: "I didn't put 
'em there, and I'm not going to take 'em away." 

"No, but I meant — please, may we wait and pick 
some?" Alice pleaded. "If you don't mind stopping the 
boat for a minute." 

"How am / to stop it?" said the Sheep. "If you leave off 
rowing, it'll stop of itself." 

So the boat was left to drift down the stream as it 
would, till it glided gently in among the waving rushes. 
And then the little sleeves were carefully rolled up, and 
the little arms were plunged in elbow-deep, to get hold of 
the rushes a good long way down before breaking them 
off — and for a while Alice forgot all about the Sheep and 
the knitting, as she bent over the side of the boat, with just 
the ends of her tangled hair dipping into the water — 
while with bright eager eyes she caught at one bunch after 
another of the darling scented rushes. 

"I only hope the boat won't tipple over!" she said to her- 
self. "Oh, what a lovely one! Only I couldn't quite reach 


it." And it certainly did seem a little provoking ("almost 
as if it happened on purpose," she thought) that, though 
she managed to pick plenty of beautiful rushes as the boat 
glided by, there was always a more lovely one that she 
couldn't reach. 

"The prettiest are always further!" she said at last with 
a sigh at the obstinacy of the rushes in growing so far off, 
as, with flushed cheeks and dripping hair and hands, she 
scrambled back into her place, and began to arrange her 
new-found treasures. 

What mattered it to her just then that the rushes had 
begun to fade, and to lose all their scent and beauty, from 
the very moment that she picked them? Even real scent- 
ed rushes, you know, last only a very little while — and 
these, being dream-rushes, melted away almost like snow, 
as they lay in heaps at her feet — but Alice hardly noticed 
this, there were so many other curious things to think 

They hadn't gone much farther before the blade of one 
of the oars got fast in the water and wouldn't come out 
again (so Alice explained it afterwards), and the conse- 
quence was that the handle of it caught her under the 
chin, and, in spite of a series of little shrieks of "Oh, oh, 
oh!" from poor Alice, it swept her straight off the seat, 
and down among the heap of rushes. 

However, she wasn't a bit hurt, and was soon up again: 
the Sheep went on with her knitting all the while, just as 
if nothing had happened. "That was a nice crab you 
caught!" she remarked, as Alice got back into her place, 
very much relieved to find herself still in the boat. 

"Was it? I didn't see it," said Alice, peeping cautiously 
over the side of the boat into the dark water. "I wish it 
hadn't let go — I should so like a little crab to take home 



with me!" But the Sheep only laughed scornfully, and 
went on with her knitting. 

"Are there many crabs here?" said Alice. 

"Crabs, and all sorts of things," said the Sheep : "plenty 
of choice, only make up your mind. Now, what do you 
want to buy?" 

"To buy!" Alice echoed in a tone that was half aston- 
ished and half frightened — for the oars, and the boat. 


and the river, had vanished all in a moment, and she was 
back again in the little dark shop. 

"I should like to buy an egg, please," she said timidly. 
"How do you sell them?" 

"Fivepence farthing for one — twopence for two," the 
Sheep replied. 

"Then two are cheaper than one?" Alice said in a sur- 
prised tone, taking out her purse. 

"Only you must eat them both, if you buy two," said 
the Sheep. 

"Then I'll have one, please," said Alice, as she put the 
money down on the counter. For she thought to herself, 
"They mightn't be at all nice, you know." 

The Sheep took the money, and put it away in a box: 
then she said "I never put things into people's hands — that 
would never do — you must get it for yourself." And so 
saying, she went off to the other end of the shop, and set 
the egg upright on a shelf. 

"I wonder why it wouldn't do?" thought Alice, as she 
groped her way among the tables and chairs, for the 
shop was very dark towards the end. "The egg seems to 
get further away the more I walk towards it. Let me see, 
is this a chair? Why, it's got branches, I declare! How 
very odd to find trees growing here! And actually here's 
a little brook! Well, this is the very queerest shop I ever 

^ TT TP ^ 

^ TT tF 

# # # # # 

So she went on, wondering more and more at every 
step, as everything turned into a tree the moment she 
came up to it, and she quite expected the egg to do the: 

Chapter VI 
Humpty Dumpty 

However, the egg only got larger and larger, and more 
and more human : when she had come within a few yards 
of it, she saw that it had eyes and a nose and mouth; and, 
when she had come close to it, she saw clearly that it was 
HUMPTY DUMPTY himself. "It can't be anybody 
else!" she said to herself. "I'm as certain of it, as if his 
name were written all over his face!" 

It might have been written a hundred times, easily, on 
that enormous face. Humpty Dumpty was sitting, with 
his legs crossed like a Turk, on the top of a high wall — 
such a narrow one that Alice quite wondered how he 
could keep his balance — and, as his eyes were steadily 
fixed in the opposite direction, and he didn't take the 
least notice of her, she thought he must be a stufifed figure, 
after all. 

"And how exactly like an egg he is!" she said aloud, 
standing with her hands ready to catch him, for she was 
every moment expecting him to fall. 

"It's very provoking," Humpty Dumpty said after a 
long silence, looking away from Alice as he spoke, "to be 
called an egg — t/eryV 

"I said you loo\ed like an egg. Sir," Alice gently ex- 
plained. "And some eggs are very pretty, you know," she 
added, hoping to turn her remark into a sort of compli- 

"Some people," said Humpty Dumpty, looking away 
from her as usual, "have no more sense than a baby!" 

Alice didn't know what to sav to this: it wasn't at all 
like conversation, she thought, as he never said anything 



to her\ in fact, his last remark was evidently addressed to 
a tree — so she stood and softly repeated to herself: — 

"Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall: 
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. 
All the King's horses and all the King's men 
Couldn't put Humpty Dumpty in his place again. 

"That last line is much too long for the poetry," she 
added, almost out loud, forgetting that Humpty Dumpty 
would hear her. 

"Don't stand chattering to yourself like that," Humpty 
Dumpty said, looking at her for the first time, "but tell 
me your name and your business." 

"My name is Alice, but " 

"It's a stupid name enough!" Humpty Dumpty inter- 
rupted impatiently. "What does it mean?" 

''Must a name mean something?" Alice asked doubt- 

"Of course it must," Humpty Dumpty said with a short 
laugh : my name means the shape I am — and a good hand- 
some shape it is, too. With a name like yours, you might 
be any shape, almost." 

"Why do you sit out here all alone?" said Alice, not 
wishing to begin an argument. 

"Why, because there's nobody with me!" cried Humpty 
Dumpty. "Did you think I didn't know the answer to 
that} Ask another." 

"Don't you think you'd be safer down on the ground?" 
Alice went on, not with any idea of making another rid- 
dle, but simply in her good-natured anxiety for the queer 
creature. "That wall is so very narrow!" 

"What tremendously easy riddles you ask!" Humpty 
Dumpty growled out. "Of course I don't think so! Why, 
if ever I did fall off — which there's no chance of — but // 


I did " Here he pursed up his hps, and looked so 

solemn and grand that Alice could hardly help laughing. 
"// I did fall/' he went on, ''the King has promised me — 
ah, you may turn pale, if you like! You didn't think I was 
going to say that, did you? The King has promised me — 
with his very own mouth — to — to ■" 

"To send all his horses and all his men," Alice inter- 
rupted, rather unwisely. 

"Now I declare that's too bad!" Humpty Dumpty 
cried, breaking into a sudden passion. "You've been listen- 
ing at doors — and behind trees — and down chimneys — or 
you couldn't have known it!" 

"I haven't indeed!" Alice said very gently. "It's in a 

• "Ah, well! They may write such things in a booJ^l' 
Humpty Dumpty said in a calmer tone. "That's what you 
call a History of England, that is. Now, take a good look 
at me! I'm one that has spoken to a King, / am: mayhap 
you'll never see such another: and, to show you I'm not 
proud, you may shake hands with me!" And he grinned 
almost from ear to ear, as he leant forwards (and as nearly 
as possible fell off the wall in doing so) and offered Alice 
his hand. She watched him a little anxiously as she took it. 
"If he smiled much more the ends of his mouth might 
meet behind," she thought: "And then I don't know what 
would happen to his head! I'm afraid it would come off!" 

"Yes, all his horses and all his men," Humpty Dumpty 
went on. "They'd pick me up again in a minute, they 
would! However, this conversation is going on a little too 
fast: let's go back to the last remark but one." 

"I'm afraid I ca'n't quite remember it," Alice said, very 

"In that case we start afresh," said Humpty Dumpty, 
"and it's my turn to choose a subject " ("He talks 


about it just as if it was a game!" thought AHce.) "So 
here's a question for you. How old did you say you were?" 

AHce made a short calculation, and said "Seven years 
and six months." 

"Wrong!" Humpty Dumpty exclaimed triumphantly. 
"You never said a word like it!" 

"I thought you meant 'How old are you?' " Alice ex- 

"If I'd meant that, I'd have said it," said Humpty 

Alice didn't want to begin 
another argument, so she said 

Seven years and six 
months!" Humpty Dumpty 
repeated thoughtfully. "An 
uncomfortable sort of age. 
Now if you'd asked my ad- 
vice, I'd have said 'Leave off 

at seven' but it's too late 



"I never ask advice about growing," Alice said indig- 

"Too proud?" the other enquired. 

AUce felt even more indignant at this suggestion. "I 
mean," she said, "that one ca'n't help growing older." 

''One ca'n't, perhaps," said Humpty Dumpty; "but two 
can. With proper assistance, you might have left off at 


"What a beautiful belt you've got on!" Alice suddenly 
remarked. (They had had quite enough of the subject of 
age, she thought : and, if they really were to take turns in 
choosing subjects, it was her turn now.) "At least," she 
corrected herself on second thoughts, "a beautiful cravat, 
I should have said — no, a belt, I mean — I beg your par- 
don!" she added in dismay, for Humpty Dumpty looked 
thoroughly offended, and she began to wish she hadn't 
chosen that subject. "If only I knew," she thought to her- 
self, "which was neck and which was waist!" 

Evidently Humpty Dumpty was very angry, though he 
said nothing for a minute or two. When he did speak 
again, it was in a deep growl. 

"It is a — most — provo\ing — thing," he said at last, 
"when a person doesn't know a cravat from a belt!" 

"I know it's very ignorant of me," Alice said, in so 
humble a tone that Humpty Dumpty relented. 

"It's a cravat, child, and a beautiful one, as you say. It's 
a present from the White King and Queen. There now!" 

"Is it really?" said Alice, quite pleased to find that she 
had chosen a good subject after all. 

"They gave it me," Humpty Dumpty continued 
thoughtfully as he crossed one knee over the other and 
clasped his hands round it, "they gave it me — for an un- 
birthday present." 

"I beg your pardon?" Alice said with a puzzled air. 


"Fm not offended," said Humpty Dumpty. 

"I mean, what is an un-birthday present?" 

"A present given when it isn't your birthday, of course." 

AUce considered a little. "I like birthday presents best," 
she said at last. 

"You don't know what you're talking about!" cried 
Humpty Dumpty. "How many days are there in a year?" 

"Three hundred and sixty-five," said Alice. 

"And how many birthdays have you?" 


"And if you take one from three hundred and sixty-five 
what remains ? " 

"Three hundred and sixty-four, of course." 

Humpty Dumpty looked doubtful. "I'd rather see that 
done on paper," he said. 

Alice couldn't help smiling as she took out her memor- 
andum-book, and worked the sum for him: 



Humpty Dumpty took the book and looked at it care- 
fully. "That seems to be done right " he began. 

"You're holding it upside down!" Alice interrupted. 

"To be sure I was!" Humpty Dumpty said gaily as she 
turned it round for him. "I thought it looked a little queer. 
As I was saying, that seems to be done right — though I 
haven't time to look it over thoroughly just now — and 
that shows that there are three hundred and sixty-four 
days when you might get un-birthday presents " 

"Certainly," said Alice. 

"And only one for birthday presents, you know. There's 
glory for you!" 


"I don't know what you mean by 'glory/ " Alice said. 

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course 
you don't — till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock- 
down argument for you!' " 

"But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argu- 
ment,' " Alice objected. 

"When / use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather 
a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean — 
neither more nor less." 

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make 
words mean so many different things." 

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to 
be master that's all." 

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything; so after 
a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. "They've a tem- 
per, some of them — particularly verbs : they're the proud- 
est — adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs — 
however, / can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetra- 
bility! That's what / say!" 

"Would you tell me please," said Alice, "what that 

"Now you talk like a reasonable child," said Humpty 
Dumpty, looking very much pleased. "I meant by 'impen- 
etrability' that we've had enough of that subject, and it 
would be just as well if you'd mention what you mean to 
do next, as I suppose you don't mean to stop here all the 
rest of your life." 

"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice 
said in a thoughtful tone. 

"When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said 
Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra." 

"Oh!" said Alice. She was too much puzzled to make 
any other remark. 

"Ah, you should see 'em come round me of a Saturday 


night," Humpty Dumpty went on, wagging his head 
gravely from side to side, "for to get their wages, you 
I (AHce didn't venture to ask what he paid them with; 
and so you see I ca'n't tell you,) 

"You seem very clever at explaining words. Sir," said 
Alice. "Would you kindly tell me the meaning of the 
poem called 'J^bberwocky'?" 

"Let's hear it," said Humpty Dumpty. "I can explain 
^ all the poems that ever were invented — and a good many 
that haven't been invented just yet." 

This sounded very hopeful, so Alice repeated the first 

verse : — 

" 'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves 
Did gyre and gitnble in the wabe: 
All mimsy were the borogoves, 
And the mome raths outgrabe." 

"That's enough to begin with," Humpty Dumpty in- 
terrupted : "there are plenty of hard words there. 'Brillig 
means four o'clock in the afternoon — the time when you 
begin broiling things for dinner." 

"That'll do very well," said Alice: "and 'slithy'?'' 

"Well, 'slithy' means 'lithe and slimy.' 'Lithe' is the 
same as 'active.' You see it's like a portmanteau — there 
are two meanings packed up into one word. 

"I see it now," Alice remarked thoughtfully: "and 
what are ' toves' V 

"Well, 'tovcs' are something like badgers — they're some- 
thing like lizards — and they're something like cork- 

"They must be very curious-looking creatures." 

"They are that," said Humpty Dumpty; "also they 
make their nests under sun-dials — also they live on 



•»• ' "•^'^jti^ 

,^ a K y^y 



''And what's to 'gyre and to 'gimble?'' 

"To 'gyre is to go round and round like a gyroscope. 
To 'gimble' is to make holes like a gimlet." 

"And 'the wabe' is the grass-plot round a sun-dial, I 
suppose?" said Alice, surprised at her own ingenuity. 

"Of course it is. It's called 'wabe' you know, because it 
goes a long way before it, and a long way behind it " 

"And a long way beyond it on each side," Alice added. 

"Exactly so. Well then, 'mimsy is 'flimsy and miserable' 


(there's another portmanteau for you) . And a 'borogove 
is a thin shabby-looking bird with its feathers sticking out 
all round — something like a live mop." 

"And then 'mome rathsV^ said Alice. "I'm afraid I'm 
giving you a great deal of trouble." 

"Well, a WatK is a sort of green pig: but 'mome I'm 
not certain about. I think it's short for *from home' — 
meaning that they'd lost their way, you know." 

"And what does 'outgrabe mean?" 

"Well, 'outgribing is something between bellowing and 
whistling, with a kind of sneeze in the middle : however, 
you'll hear it done, maybe — down in the wood yonder — 
and, when you've once heard it, you'll be quite content. 
Who's been repeating all that hard stuff to you?^' 

"I read it in a book" said Alice. "But I had some poetry 
repeated to me much easier than that, by — Tweedledee, I 
think it was." 

"As to poetry, you know," said Humpty Dumpty, 
stretching out one of his great hands, "/ can repeat poetry 
as well as other folk, if it comes to that " 

"Oh, it needn't come to that!" Alice hastily said, hoping 
to keep him from beginning. 

"The piece I'm going to repeat," he went on without 
noticing her remark, "was written entirely for your 

Alice felt that in that case she really ought to listen to it; 
so she sat down, and said "Thank you" rather sadly, 


In winter, when the fields are white, 
I sing this song for your delight 

only I don't sing it," he added, as an explanation. 
"I see you don't," said Alice. 
"If you can see whether I'm singing or not, you've 


sharper eyes than most," Humpty Dumpty remarked 
severely. Ahce was silent. 

*'ln spring, when woods are getting green, 
ril try and tell you what I mean:" 

"Thank you very much," said Alice. 

"In summer, when the days are long, 
Perhaps you II understand the song: 

In autumn, when the leaves are brown, 
Ta\e pen and in\, and write it down" 

"I will, if I can remember it so long," said Alice. 

"You needn't go on making remarks like that," Hump- 
ty Dumpty said: "they're not sensible, and they put me 


I sent a message to the fish: 

I told them 'This is what I wish,' 

The little fishes of the sea. 
They sent an answer bac\ to me. 

The little fishes' answer was 
'We cannot do it, Sir, because- 

f ff 

"I'm afraid I don't quite understand," said Alice. 

"It gets easier further on," Humpty Dumpty replied, 

'7 sent to them again to say 
'It will be better to obey! 

The fishes answered, with a grin, 
'Why, what a temper you are in!' 

I told them once, 1 told them twice: 
They would not listen to advice. 



/ too\ a \ettle large and new, 
Fit for the deed 1 had to do. 

My heart went hop, my heart went thump, 
1 filled the \ettle at the pump. 

Then some one came to me and said 
*The little fishes are in bed! 

I said to him, I said it plain, 

'Then you must wa\e them up again f 

I said it very loud and clear: 
I went and shouted in his ear. 


Humpty Dumpty raised his voice almost to a scream as 
he repeated this verse, and Ahce thought, with a shudder, 
"I wouldn't have been the messenger for any thin gV 


*'But he was very stiff and proud: 
He said, 'You needn't shout so loudV 

And he was very proud and stiff: 
He said Td go and wa\e them, if- 

I too\ a cor /(screw from the shelf: 
I went to wa\e them up myself. 

And when I found the door was loc\ed, 

I pulled and pushed and \ic\ed and \noc\ed. 

And when 1 found the door was shut, 
I tried to turn the handle, but '* 


There was a long pause. 

"Is that all?" Alice timidly asked. 

"That's all," said Humpty Dumpty. "Good-bye." 

This was rather sudden, Alice thought: but, after such a 
very strong hint that she ought to be going, she felt that it 
w^ould hardly be civil to stay. So she got up, and held out 
her hand. "Good-bye, till we meet again!" she said as 
cheerfully as she could. 

"I shouldn't know you again if we did meet," Humpty 
Dumpty replied in a discontented tone, giving her one of 
his fingers to shake: "you're so exactly like other people." 

"The face is what one goes by, generally," Alice re- 
marked in a thoughtful tone. 

"That's just what I complain of," said Humpty Dump- 
ty. "Your face is the same as everybody has — the two eyes, 

so " (marking their places in the air with his thumb) 

"nose in the middle, mouth under. It's always the same. 
Now if you had the two eyes on the same side of the nose, 


for instance — or the mouth at the top — that would be 
some help." 

"It wouldn't look nice," Alice objected. But Humpty 
Dumpty only shut his eyes, and said "Wait till you've 

Alice waited a minute to see if he would speak again, 
but, as he never opened his eyes or took any further no- 
tice of her, she said "Good-bye!" once more, and, getting 
no answer to this, she quietly walked away: but she 
couldn't help saying to herself, as she went, "of all the un- 
satisfactory " (she repeated this aloud, as it was a great 

comfort to have such a long word to say) "of all the un- 
satisfactory people I ever met " She never finished the 

sentence, for at this moment a heavy crash shook the for- 
est from end to end. 

Chapter VII 
The Lion and the Unicorn 

The next moment soldiers came running through the 
wood, at first in twos and threes, then ten or twenty to- 
gether, and at last in such crowds that they seemed to fill 
the whole forest. Alice got behind a tree, for fear of being 
run over, and watched them go by. 

She thought that in all her life she had never seen 
soldiers so uncertain on their feet: they were always trip- 
ping over something or other, and whenever one went 
down, several more always fell over him, so that the 
ground was soon covered with little heaps of men. 

Then came the horses. Having four feet, these man- 



aged rather better than the foot-soldiers; but even they 
stumbled now and then; and it seemed to be a regular 
rule that, whenever a horse stumbled, the rider fell off 
instantly. The confusion got worse every moment, and 
Alice was very glad to get out of the wood into an open 
place, where she found the White King seated on the 
ground, busily writing in his memorandum-book. 

I've sent them all!" the King cried in a tone of de- 



light, on seeing Alice. "Did you happen to meet any sol- 
diers, my dear, as you came through the wood?" 

"Yes, I did," said AUce: "several thousand, I should 

"Four thousand two hundred and seven, that's the ex- 
act number," the King said, referring to his book. "I 
couldn't send all the horses, you know, because two o£ 
them are wanted in the game. And I haven't sent the two 
Messengers, either. They're both gone to the town. Just 
look along the road, and tell me if you can see either of 

"I see nobody on the road," said Alice. 

"I only wish / had such eyes," the King remarked in a 
fretful tone. "To be able to see Nobody! And at that dis- 
tance too! Why, it's as much as / can do to see real people, 
by this light!" 

All this was lost on Alice, who was still looking intent- 
ly along the road, shading her eyes with one hand. "I see 
somebody now!" she exclaimed at last. "But he's coming 
very slowly — and what curious attitudes he goes into!" 
(For the Messenger kept skipping up and down, and 
wriggling like an eel, as he came along, with his great 
hands spread out like fans on each side.) 

"Not at all/' said the King. "He's an Anglo-Saxon 
Messenger — and those are Anglo-Saxon attitudes. He only 
does them when he's happy. His name is Haigha." (He 
pronounced it so as to rhyme with 'mayor.') 

"I love my love with an H," Alice couldn't help begin- 
ning, "because he is Happy. I hate him with an H, 
because he is Hideous. I fed him with — with — with 
Ham-sandwiches and Hay. His name is Haigha, and he 
lives — -" 

"He lives on the Hill," the King remarked simply, 
without the least idea that he was joining in the game, 


while Alice was still hesitating for the name of a town be- 
ginning with H. "The other Messenger's called Hatta. I 
must have two, you know — to come and g([). One to come, 
and one to go." ' 

"I beg your pardon?" said Alice. 

"It isn't respectable to beg," said the King. 

"I only meant that I didn't understand/' said Alice. 
"Why one to come and one to go?" 

"Don't I tell you?" the King repeated impatiently. "I 
must have two — to fetch and carry. One to fetch, and one 
to carry." 

At this moment the Messenger arrived : he was far too- 
much out of breath to say a word, and could only wave 
his hands about, and make the most fearful faces at the 
poor King. 

"This young lady loves you with an H," the King said,. 


introducing Alice in the hope of turning ofj the Messen- 
ger's attention from himself — but it was of no use — the 
Anglo-Saxon attitudes only got more extraordinary every 
moment, while the great eyes rolled wildly from side to 

"You alarm me!" said the King. "I feel faint — Give me 
a ham-sandwich!" 

On which the Messenger, to Alice's great amusement, 
opened a bag that hung round his neck, and handed a 
sandwich to the King, who devoured it greedily. 

"Another sandwich!" said the King. 

"There's nothing but hay left now," the Messenger 
said, peeping into the bag. 

"Hay, then," the King murmured in a faint whisper. 

Alice was glad to see that it revived him a good deal. 
"There's nothing like eating hay when you're faint," he 
remarked to her, as he munched away. 

"I should think throwing cold water over you would be 
better," Alice suggested: " — or some sal-volatile." 

"I didn't say there was nothing better^'' the King re- 
plied. "I said there was nothing lil{e it." Which Alice did 
not venture to deny. 

"Who did you pass on the road?" the King went on, 
holding out his hand to the Messenger for some hay. 

"Nobody," said the Messenger. 

"Quite right," said the King: "this young lady saw him 
too. So of course Nobody walks slower than you." 

"I do my best," the Messenger said in a sullen tone. 
"I'm sure nobody walks much faster than I do!" 

"He ca'n't do that," said the King, "or else he'd have 
been here first. However, now you've got your breath, you 
may tell us what's happened in the town." 

"I'll whisper it," said the Messenger, putting his hands 
to his mouth in the shape of a trumpet and stooping so as 


to get close to the King's ear. Alice was sorry for this, as 
she wanted to hear the news too. However, instead of 
whispering, he simply shouted, at the top of his voice, 
"They're at it again!" 

"Do you call that a whisper?" cried the poor King, 
jumping up and shaking himself. "If you do such a thing 
again, I'll have you buttered! It went through and through 
my head like an earthquake!" 

"It would have to be a very tiny earthquake!" thought 
Alice. "Who are at it again?" she ventured to ask. 

"Why the Lion and the Unicorn, of course," said the 

"Fighting for the crown?" 

"Yes, to be sure," said the King: "and the best of the 
joke is, that it's my crown all the while! Let's run and see 
them." And they trotted off, Alice repeating to herself, as 
she ran, the words of the old song : — 

''The Lion and the Unicorn were fighting for the crown: 
The Lion beat the Unicorn all round the town. 
Some gave them white bread, some gave thein brown: 
Some gave them plum-ca\e and drummed them out of 

"Does the one that wins get the crown?" 

she asked, as well as she could, for the run was putting 
her quite out of breath. 

"Dear me, no!" said the King. "What an idea!" 

"Would you be good enough " Alice panted out, 

after running a little further, "to stop a minute — ^just to 
get — one's breath again?" 

"I'm good enough," the King said, "only I'm not strong 
enough. You see, a minute goes by so fearfully quick. 
You might as well try to stop a Bandersnatch!" 

Alice had no more breath for talking; so they trotted on 


in silence, till they came into sight of a great crowd, in the 
middle of which the Lion and Unicorn were fighting. 
Thev were in such a cloud of dust, that at first Alice could 
not make out which was which; but she soon managed to 
distinguish the Unicorn by his horn. 

They placed themselves close to where Hatta, the other 
Messenger, was standing watching the fight, w^ith a cup 
of tea in one hand and a piece of bread-and-butter in the 

"He's only just out of prison, and he hadn't finished his 
tea when he was sent in," Haigha whispered to Alice: 
"and they only give them oyster-shells in there — so you see 
he's very hungry and thirsty. How are you, dear child?" 
he went on, putting his arm affectionately round Hatta's 

Hatta looked round and nodded, and went on with his 

■ •« ita 4» tS* ti$ 



"Were you happy in prison, dear child?'' said Haigha. 

Hatta looked round once more, and this time a tear or 
two trickled down his cheek; but not a word would he say. 

"Speak, ca'n't you!" Haigha cried impatiently. But 
Hatta only munched away, and drank some more tea. 

"Speak, wo'n't you!" cried the King. "How are they 
getting on with the fight?" 

Hatta made a desperate effort, and swallowed a large 
piece of bread-and-butter. "They're getting on very well," 
he said in a choking voice : "each o£ them has been down 
about eighty-seven times." 

"Then I suppose they'll soon bring the white bread and 
the brown?" Alice ventured to remark. 

"It's waiting for 'em now," said Hatta; "this is a bit of 
it as I'm eating." 

There was a pause in the fight just then, and the Lion 
and the Unicorn sat down, panting, while the King called 
out "Ten minutes allowed for refreshments!" Haigha and 
Hatta set to work at once, carrying round trays of white 
and brown bread. Alice took a piece to taste, but it was 
very dry. 

"I don't think they'll fight any more to-day," the King 
said to Hatta: "go and order the drums to begin." And 
Hatta went bounding away like a grasshopper. 

For a minute or two Alice stood silent, watching him. 
Suddenly she brightened up. "Look, look!" she cried, 
pointing eagerly. "There's the White Queen running 
across the country! She came flying out of the wood over 
yonder How fast those Queens can run!" 

"There's some enemy after her, no doubt," the King 
said, without even looking round. "That wood's full of 

"But aren't you going to run and help her?" Alice 
asked, very much surprised at his taking it so quietly. 


"No use, no use!" said the King. "She runs so fearfully 
quick. You might as well try to catch a Bandersnatch! 

But I'll make a memorandum about her, if you like 

She's a dear good creature," he repeated softly to him- 
self, as he opened his memorandum-book, "Do you spell 
^creature' with a double 'e'?" 

At this moment the Unicorn sauntered by them, with 
his hands in his pockets. "I had the best of it this time?" 
he said to the King, just glancing at him as he passed. 

"A little — a little," the King replied, rather nervously. 
^'You shouldn't have run him through with your horn, 
you know." 

"It didn't hurt him," the Unicorn said carelessly, and 
he was going on, when his eye happened to fall upon 
Alice : he turned round instantly, and stood for some time 
looking at her with an air of the deepest disgust. 

'What — is — this?" he said at last. 

'This is a child!" Haigha rephed eagerly, coming in 
front of Ahce to introduce her, and spreading out both his 
hands towards her in an Anglo-Saxon attitude. "We 
only found it to-day. It's as large as life, and twice as 

"I always thought they were fabulous monsters!" said 
the Unicorn. "Is it alive?" 

"It can talk," said Haigha solemnly. 

The Unicorn looked dreamily at Alice, and said "Talk, 

Alice could not help her lips curling up into a smile as 
she began: "Do you know, I always thought Unicorns 
were fabulous monsters, too? I never saw one alive be- 

"Well, now that we have seen each other," said the Uni- 
corn, "if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you. Is that a 



- ^*\0'' 111' 

"Yes, i£ you like," said Alice. 

"Come, fetch out the plum-cake, old man!" the Uni- 
corn went on, turning from her to the King. "None of 
your brown bread for me!" 

"Certainly — certainly!" the King muttered, and beck* 
oned to Haigha. "Open the bag!" he whispered. "Quick! 
Not that one— that's full of hay!" 

Haigha took a large cake out of the bag, and gave it to 
Alice to hold, while he got out a dish and carving-knife, 
How they all came out of it Alice couldn't guess. It was 
just like a conjuring-trick, she thought. 

The Lion had joined them while this was going on: he 
looked very tired and sleepy, and his eyes were half shut. 
"What's this!" he said, blinking lazily at Alice, and speak- 
ing in a deep hollow tone that sounded like the tolling of 
a great bell. 

"Ah, what is it, now?" the Unicorn cried eagerly. 
"You'll never guess! / couldn't." 


The Lion looked at Alice wearily. "Are you animal — 
or vegetable — or mineral?" he said, yawning at every 
other word. 

"It's a fabulous monster!" the Unicorn cried out, before 
Alice could reply. 

"Then hand round the plum-cake, Monster," the Lion 
said, lying down and putting his chin on his paws. "And 
sit down, both of you," (to the King and the Unicorn) : 
"fair play with the cake, you know!" 

The King was evidently very uncomfortable at having 
to sit down between the two great creatures; but there 
was no other place for him. 

"What a fight we might have for the crown, nowV the 
Unicorn said, looking slyly up at the crown, which the 
poor King was nearly shaking off his head, he trembled 
so much. 

"I should win easy," said the Lion. 

"I'm not so sure of that," said the Unicorn. 

"Why, I beat you all round the town, you chicken!" the 
Lion replied angrily, half getting up as he spoke. 

Here the King interrupted, to prevent the quarrel go- 
ing on: he was very nervous, and his voice quite quivered. 
"All round the town?" he said. "That's a good long way. 
Did you go by the old bridge, or the market-place? You 
get the best view by the old bridge." 

"I'm sure I don't know," the Lion growled out as he 
lay down again. "There was too much dust to see any- 
thing. What a time the Monster is, cutting up that cake!" 

Alice had seated herself on the bank of a little brook, 
with the great dish on her knees, and was sawing away 
diligently with the knife. "It's very provoking!" she said, 
in reply to the Lion (she was getting quite used to being 
called 'the Monster'). "I've cut several slices already, but 
they always join on again!" 


"You don't know how to manage Looking-glass cakes," 
the Unicorn remarked. "Hand it round first, and cut it 

This sounded nonsense, but AUce very obediently got 

up, and carried the dish round, and the cake divided itself 
into three pieces as she did so. ''Now cut it up," said the 
Lion, as she returned to her place with the empty dish. 

"I say, this isn't fair!" cried the Unicorn, as Alice sat 
with the knife in her hand, very much puzzled how to 
begin. "The Monster has given the Lion twice as much 
as me! 

"She's kept none for herself, anyhow," said the Lion. 
"Do you like plum-cake, Monster?" 

''it's my own invention" 233 

But before Alice could answer him, the drums began. 

Where the noise came from, she couldn't make out: 
the air seemed full of it, and it rang through and through 
her head till she felt quite deafened. She started to her 
feet and sprang across the little brook in her terror, and 
had just time to see the Lion and the Unicorn rise to their 


TT ^ w 

n^ nv" ^r T^ 

feet, with angry looks at being interrupted in their feast, 
before she dropped to her knees, and put her hands over 
her ears, vainly trying to shut out the dreadful uproar. 
"If that doesn't 'drum them out of town,' " she thought 
to herself, "nothing ever will!" 

Chapter VIII 

"It's My Own Invention" 

After a while the noise seemed gradually to die away, 
till all was dead silence, and Alice lifted up her head in 
some alarm. There was no one to be seen, and her first 
thought was that she must have been dreaming about the 
Lion and the Unicorn and those queer Anglo-Saxon Mes- 
sengers. However, there was the great dish still lying at 
her feet, on which she had tried to cut the plum-cake, 
"So I wasn't dreaming, after all," she said to herself, "un- 
less — unless we're all part of the same dream. Only I do 
hope it's my dream, and not the Red King's? I don't like 
belonging to another person's dream," she went on in a 
rather complaining tone: "I've a great mind to go and 
wake him, and see what happens!" 


At this moment her thoughts were interrupted by a 
loud shouting of "Ahoy! Ahoy! Check!" and a Knight, 
dressed in crimson armour, came galloping down upon 
her, brandishing a great club. Just as he reached her, the 
horse stopped suddenly: "You're my prisoner!" the 
Knight cried, as he tumbled off his horse. 

Startled as she was, Alice was more frightened for him 
than for herself at the moment, and watched him with 
some anxiety as he mounted again. As soon as he was 
comfortably in the saddle, he began once more "You're 

my " but here another voice broke in "Ahoy! Ahoy! 

Check!" and Alice looked round in some surprise for the 
new enemy. 

This time it was a White Knight. He drew up at Alice's 
side, and tumbled off his horse just as the Red Knight had 
done : then he got on again, and the two Knights sat and 
looked at each other for some time without speaking. 
Alice looked from one to the other in some bewilderment. 

"She's my prisoner, you know!" the Red Knight said 
at last. 

"Yes, but then / came and rescued her!" the White 
Knight replied. 

"Well, we must fight for her, then," said the Red 
Knight, as he took up his helmet (which hung from the 
saddle, and was something the shape of a horse's head) 
and put it on. 

"You will observe the Rules of Battle, of course?" the 
White Knight remarked, putting on his helmet too. 

"I always do," said the Red Knight, and they began 
banging away at each other with such fury that Alice 
got behind a tree to be out of the way of the blows. 

"I wonder, now, what the Rules of Battle are," she said 
to herself, as she watched the fight, timidly peeping out 
from her hiding-place. "One Rule seems to be, that if one 

"it's my own invention" 


Knight hits the other, he knocks him off his horse; and, 
if he misses, he tumbles off himself — and another Rule 
seems to be that they hold their clubs with their arms, as 

if they were Punch and Judy What a noise they make 

when they tumble! Just like a whole set of fire-irons fall- 
ing into the fender! And how quiet the horses are! They 
let them get on and off them just as if they were tables!" 
Another Rule of Battle, that Alice had not noticed, 
seemed to be that they always fell on their heads; and the 
battle ended with their both falling off in this way, side by 
side. When they got up again, they shook hands, and then 
the Red Knight mounted and galloped off. 


"It was a glorious victory, wasn't it?" said the White 
Knight, as he came up panting. 

"I don't know," AUce said doubtfully. "I don't want to 
be anybody's prisoner. I want to be a Queen." 

"So you will, when you've crossed the next brook," said 
the White Knight. "I'll see you safe to the end of the 
wood — and then I must go back, you know. That's the 
end of my move." 

"Thank you very much," said Alice. "May I help you 
off with your helmet?" It was evidently more than he 
could manage by himself : however she managed to shake 
him out of it at last. 

"Now one can breathe more easily," said the Knight, 
putting back his shaggy hair with both hands, and turn- 
ing his gentle face and large mild eyes to Alice. She 
thought she had never seen such a strange-looking soldier 
in all her life. 

He was dressed in tin armour, which seemed to fit him 
very badly, and he had a queer-shaped little deal box 
fastened across his shoulders, upside-down, and with the 
lid hanging open. Alice looked at it with great curiosity. 

"I see you're admiring my little box," the Knight said 
in a friendly tone. "It's my own invention — to keep clothes 
and sandwiches in. You see I carry it upside-down, so that 
the rain ca'n't get in." 

"But the things can get out^' Alice gently remarked. 
"Do you know the lid's open?" 

"I didn't know it," the Knight said, a shade of vexa- 
tion passing over his face. "Then all the things must have 
fallen out! And the box is no use without them." He un- 
fastened it as he spoke, and was just going to throw it 
into the bushes, when a sudden thought seemed to strike 
him, and he hung it carefully on a tree. "Can you guess 
whv I did that?" he said to Alice. 

''it's my own invention" 237, 

Alice shook her head. 

"In hopes some bees may make a nest in it — then I 
should get the honey." 

"But you've got a bee-hive — or something like one — 
fastened to the saddle," said Alice. 

"Yes, it's a very good bee-hive," the Knight said in a 
discontented tone, "one of the best kind. But not a single 
bee has come near it yet. And the other thing is a mouse- 
trap. I suppose the mice keep the bees out — or the bees 
keep the mice out, I don't know which." 

"I was wondering what the mouse-trap was for," said 
Alice. "It isn't very likely there would be any mice on 
the horse's back." 

"Not very likely, perhaps," said the Knight; "but, if 
they do come, I don't choose to have them running all 

"You see," he went on after a pause, "it's as well to be 
provided for everything. That's the reason the horse has 
all th6^e anklets round his feet." 

"But what are they for?" Alice asked in a tone of great 

"To guard against the bites of sharks," the Knight re- 
plied. "It's an invention of my own. And now help me on. 
I'll go with you to the end of the wood — What's that 
dish for?" 

"It's meant for plum-cake," said Alice. 

"We'd better take it with us," the Knight said. "It'll 
come in handy if we find any plum-cake. Help me to get 
it into this bag." 

This took a long time to manage, though Alice held the 
bag open very carefully, because the knight was so very 
awkward in putting in the dish: the first two or three 
times that he tried he fell in himself instead. "It's rather a 
tight fit, you see," he said, as they got it in at last; "there 


are so many candlesticks in the bag." And he hung it to 
the saddle, which was already loaded with bunches of 
carrots, and fire-irons, and many other things. 

"I hope you've got your hair well fastened on?" he 
continued, as they set off. 

"Only in the usual way," Alice said, smiling. 

"That's hardly enough," he said, anxiously. "You see 
the wind is so very strong here. It's as strong as soup." 

"Have you invented a plan for keeping the hair from 
being blown oflF?" Alice enquired. 

"Not yet," said the Knight. "But I've got a plan for 
keeping it from jailing off." 

"I should like to hear it, very much." 

"First you take an upright stick," said the Knight. 

''it's my own invention" 239 

"Then you make your hair creep up it, like a fruit-tree. 
Now the reason hair falls off is because it hangs down — 
things never fall upwards^ you know. It's a plan of my 
own invention. You may try it if you like." 

It didn't sound a comfortable plan, Alice thought, and 
for a few minutes she walked on in silence, puzzling over 
the idea, and every now and then stopping to help the 
poor Knight, who certainly was not a good rider. 

Whenever the horse stopped (which it did very often), 
he fell off in front; and, whenever it went on again, 
(which it generally did rather suddenly), he fell off be- 
hind. Otherwise he kept on pretty well, except that he 
had a habit of now and then falling off sideways; and, as 
he generally did this on the side on which Alice was 
walking, she soon found that it was the best plan not to 
walk quite close to the horse. 

"I'm afraid you've not had much practice in riding," 
she ventured to say, as she was helping him up from his 
fifth tumble. 

The Knight looked very much surprised, and a little 
offended at the remark. "What makes you say that?" he 
asked, as he scrambled back into the saddle, keeping hold 
of Alice's hair with one hand, to save himself from falling 
over on the other side. 

"Because people don't fall off quite so often, when 
they've had much practice." 

"I've had plenty of practice," the Knight said very 
gravely: "plenty of practice!" 

Alice could think of nothing better to say than "In- 
deed?" but she said it as heartily as she could. They went 
on a little way in silence after this, the Knight with his 
eyes shut, muttering to himself, and Alice watching anx- 
iously for the next tumble. 

"The great art of riding," the Knight suddenly began 


in a loud voice, waving his right arm as he spoke, "is to 

^ keep " Here the sentence ended as suddenly as it had 

begun, as the Knight fell heavily on the top of his head 
exactly in the path where Alice was walking. She was 
quite frightened this time, and said in an anxious tone, as 
she picked him up, "I hope no bones are broken?" 

"None to speak of," the Knight said, as if he didn't 
mind breaking two or three of them. "The great art of 
riding, as I was saying, is — to keep your balance prop- 
erly. Like this, you know " 

He let go the bridle, and stretched out both his arms to 
show Alice what he meant, and this time he fell flat on his 
back, right under the horse's feet. 

"Plenty of practice!" he went on repeating, all the time 
that Alice was getting him on his feet again. "Plenty of 

"It's too ridiculous!" cried Alice, losing all her patience 
this time. "You ought to have a wooden horse on wheels, 
that you ought!" 

"Does that kind go smoothly?" the Knight asked in a 
tone of great interest, clasping his arms round the horse's 
neck as he spoke, just in time to save himself from tum- 
bling off again. 

"Much more smoothly than a live horse," Alice said, 
with a little scream of laughter, in spite of all she could do 
to prevent it. 

"I'll get one," the Knight said thoughtfully to himself. 
"One or two — several." 

There was a short silence after this, and then the Knight 
went on again. "I'm a great hand at inventing things. 
Now, I daresay you noticed, the last time you picked me 
up, that I was looking rather thoughtful?" 

"You were a little grave," said Alice. 

"it's my own invention" 241 

"Well, just then I was inventing a new way of getting 
over a gate — would you like to hear it?" 

"Very much indeed," Alice said politely. 

"I'll tell you how I came to think o£ it," said the Knight. 
"You see, I said to myself 'The only difficulty is with the 
feet: the head is high enough already.' Now, first I put 
my head on the top of the gate — then the head's high 
enough — then I stand on my head — then the feet are high 
enough, you see — then I'm over, you see." 

"Yes, I suppose you'd be over when that was done," 
Alice said thoughtfully: "but don't you think it would be 
rather hard?" 

"I haven't tried it yet," the Knight said, gravely; "so I 
ca'n't tell for certain — but I'm afraid it would be a little 

He looked so vexed at the idea, that Alice changed the 
subject hastily. "What a curious helmet you've got!" she 
said cheerfully. "Is that your invention too?" 

The Knight looked down proudly at his helmet, which 
hung from the saddle. "Yes," he said; "but I've invented 
a better one than that — like a sugar-loaf. When I used to 
wear it, if I fell off the horse, it always touched the 
ground directly. So I had a very little way to fall, you see 
— But there was the danger of falling into it, to be sure. 
That happened to me once — and the worst of it was, be- 
fore I could get out again, the other White Knight came 
and put it on. He thought it was his own helmet." 

The Knight looked so solemn about it that Alice did 
not dare to laugh. "I'm afraid you must have hurt him," 
she said in a trembling voice, "being on the top of his 

"I had to kick him, of course," the Knight said, very 
seriously. "And then he took the helmet oflf again — but it 


took hours and hours to get me out. I was as fast as — as 
Hghtning, you know." 

"But that's a different kind of fastness," Ahce objected. 

The Knight shook his head. "It was all kinds of fast- 
ness with me, I can assure you!" he said. He raised his 
hands in some excitement as he said this, and instantly 
rolled out of the saddle, and fell headlong into a deep 

Alice ran to the side of the ditch to look for him. She 
was rather startled by the fall, as for some time he had 
kept on very well, and she was afraid that he really was 
hurt this time. However, though she could see nothing 
but the soles of his feet, she was much relieved to hear 
that he was talking on in his usual tone. "All kinds of 
fastness," he repeated: "but it was careless of him to put 
another man's helmet on — with the man in it, too." 

"How ca7i you go on talking so quietly, head down- 
wards?" Alice asked, as she dragged him out by the feet, 
and laid him in a heap on the bank. 

The Knight looked surprised at the question. "What 

''it's my own invention" 243 

does it matter where my body happens to be?" he said. 
"My mind goes on working all the same. In fact, the more 
head-downwards I am, the more I keep inventing new 

"Now the cleverest thing of the sort that I ever did," 
he went on after a pause, "was inventing a new pudding 
during the meat-course." 

"In time to have it cooked for the next course?" said 
Alice. "Well, that was quick work, certainly!" 

"Well, not the next course," the Knight said in a slow 
thoughtful tone: "no, certainly not the next course'' 

"Then it would have to be the next day. I suppose you 
wouldn't have two pudding-courses in one dinner?" 

"Well, not the next day," the Knight repeated as before : 
"not the next day. In fact," he went on, holding his head 
down, and his voice getting lower and lower, "I don't 
believe that pudding ever was cooked! In fact, I don't be- 
lieve that pudding ever will be cooked ! And yet it was a 
very clever pudding to invent." 

"What did you mean it to be made of?" Alice asked, 
hoping to cheer him up, for the poor Knight seemed quite 
low-spirited about it. 

"It began with blotting-paper," the Knight answered 
with a groan. 

"That wouldn't be very nice, I'm afraid " 

"Not very nice alone,'' he interrupted, quite eagerly: 
"but you've no idea what a difference it makes, mixing it 
with other things — such as gunpowder and sealing-wax. 
And here I must leave you." They had just come to the 
end of the wood. 

Alice could only look puzzled: she was thinking of 
the pudding. 

"You are sad," the Knight said in an anxious tone: "let 
me sing you a song to comfort you." 


"Is it very long?" Alice asked, for she had heard a good 
deal of poetry that day. 

"It's long," said the Knight, "but's it's very, very beau- 
tiful. Everybody that hears me sing it — either it brings 
the tears into their eyes, or else " 

"Or else what?" said Alice, for the Knight had made a 
sudden pause. 

"Or else it doesn't, you know. The name of the song is 
called 'Haddoc\s EyesJ " 

"Oh, that's the name of the song, is it?" Alice said, try- 
ing to feel interested. 

"No, you don't understand," the Knight said, looking a 
little vexed. "That's what the name is called. The name 
really is 'The Aged Aged Man' " 

"Then I ought to have said 'That's what the song is 
called'?" Alice corrected herself. 

"No, you oughtn't: that's quite another thing! The 
song is called ''Ways and Means' \ but that's only what it's 
called^ you know!" 

"Well, what is the song, then?" said Alice, who was by 
this time completely bewildered. 

"I was coming to that," the Knight said. "The song 
really is 'A-sitting On A Gate': and the tune's my own 

So saying, he stopped his horse and let the reins fall on 
its neck: then, slowly beating time with one hand, and 
with a faint smile lighting up his gentle foolish face, as if 
he enjoyed the music of his song, he began. 

Of all the strange things that Alice saw in her journey 
Through The Looking-Glass, this was the one that she 
always remembered most clearly. Years afterwards she 
could bring the whole scene back again, as if it had been 
only yesterday — the mild blue eyes and kindly smile of 
the Knight — the setting sun gleaming through his hair, 

''it's my own invention" 245 

and shining on his armour in a blaze of Hght that quite 
dazzled her — the horse quietly moving about, with the 
reins hanging loose on his neck, cropping the grass at 
her feet — and the black shadows of the forest behind — all 
this she took in like a picture, as, with one hand shading 
her eyes, she leant against a tree, watching the strange 
pair, and listening, in a half-dream, to the melancholy 
music of the song. 

"But the tune isn't his own invention," she said to her- 
self: "it's 7 give thee all, I can no more' " She stood and 
listened very attentively, but no tears came into her eyes. 

'77/ tell thee everything I can: 

There's little to relate. 
I saw an aged aged man, 

A-sitting on a gate. 
'Who are you, aged man?* I said. 

'And how is it you live?' 
And his answer trickled through my head, 

L.i\e water through a sieve. 

He said 7 loo\ for butterflies 

That sleep among the wheat: 
I ma\e them into mutton-pies, 

And sell them, in the street. 
I sell them unto men,' he said, 

'Who sail on stormy seas; 
And that's the way I get my bread — 

A trifle, if you please.' 

But I was thinking of a plan 

To dye one's whiskers green, 
And always use so large a fan 

That they could not be seen. 
So, having no reply to give 

To what the old man said, 


/ cried 'Come, tell me how you live!* 
And thumped him on the head. 

His accents mild too\ up the tale: 

He said *l go my ways, 
And when I find a mountain-rill, 

I set it in a blaze; 
And thence they ma\e a stuff they call 

Rowland's Macassar-Oil — 
Yet twopence-halfpenny is all 

They give me for my toil/ 

But I was thinking of a way 

To feed oneself on batter. 
And so go on from- day to day 

Getting a little fatter. 
I shoo\ him well from side to side, 

Until his face was blue: 
'Come, tell me how you live,' I cried, 

'And what it is you do!' 

''it's my own invention" 247 

He said 7 hunt for had docks' eyes 

Among the heather bright, 
And tvor\ them into waistcoat-buttons 

In the silent night. 
And these I do not sell for gold 

Or coin of silvery shine. 
But for a copper halfpenny. 

And that tuill purchase nine, 

'I sometimes dig for buttered rolls, 

Or set limed twigs for crabs: 
I sometimes search the grassy \nolls 

For wheels of Hansom-cabs. 
And that's the way' {he gave a winfQ 

'By which I get my wealth — 
And very gladly will I drin\ 

Your Honour s noble health.' 

I heard him then, for I had just 

Completed my design 
To \eep the Menai bridge from rust 

By boiling it in wine. 
I than\ed him much for telling me 

The way he got his wealth. 
But chiefly for his wish that he 

Might drin\ my noble health. 

And now, if e'er by chance I put 

My fingers into glue, 
Or madly squeeze a right-hand foot 

Into a left-hand shoe. 
Or if I drop upon my toe 

A very heavy weight, 
I weep for it reminds me so 
Of that old man I used to \now — 
Whose loo\ was mild, whose speech was slow 
Whose hair was whiter than the snow. 


Whose face was very li\e a crow, 
With eyes, li\e cinders, all aglow. 
Who seemed distracted with his woe. 
Who roc\ed his body to and fro. 
And muttered mumblingly and low. 
As if his mouth were full of dough. 

Who snorted li\e a bu-ffalo 

That summer evening long ago, 
A-sitting on a gate. 

As the Knight sang the last words of the ballad, he 
gathered up the reins, and turned his horse's head along 
the road by which they had come. "You've only a few 
yards to go/' he said, "down the hill and over that little 

brook, and then you'll be a Queen But you'll stay and 

see me off first?" he added as Alice turned with an eager 
look in the direction to which he pointed. "I sha'n't be 
long. You'll wait and wave your handkerchief when I get 
to that turn in the road! I think it'll encourage me, you 


"Of course I'll wait," said Alice: "and thank you very 
much for coming so far — and for the song — I liked it very 

"I hope so," the Knight said doubtfully : "but you didn't 
cry so much as I thought you would." 

So they shook hands, and then the Knight rode slowly 
away into the forest. "It wo'n't take long to see him o^, 
I expect," Alice said to herself, as she stood watching him. 
"There he goes! Right on his head as usual! However, 
he gets on again pretty easily — that comes of having so 

many things hung round the horse " So she went on 

talking to herself, as she watched the horse walking leis- 
urely along the road, and the Knight tumbling off, first 
on one side and then on the other. After the fourth or 
fifth tumble he reached the turn, and then she waved her 

''it's my own invention" 249> 

handkerchief to him, and waited till he was out of sight. 
"I hope it encouraged him/' she said, as she turned to 
run down the hill : "and now for the last brook, and to be 
a Queen! How grand it sounds!" A very few steps 
brought her to the edge of the brook. "The Eighth Square 
at last!" she cried as she bounded across, and threw her- 















self down to rest on a lawn as soft as moss, with little 
flowerbeds dotted about it here and there. "Oh, how glad 
I am to get here! And what is this on my head?" she ex- 
claimed in a tone of dismay, as she put her hands up to 
something very heavy, that fitted tight all around her 


"But how can it have got there without my knowing 
it?" she said to herself, as she hfted it oflf, and set it on her 
lap to make out what it could possibly be. 

It was a golden crown. 

Chapter IX 
Queen Alice 

"Well, this is grand!" said Alice. "I never expected I 
should be a Queen so soon — and I'll tell you what it is, 
your Majesty," she went on, in a severe tone (she was 
always rather fond of scolding herself), "It'll never do 
for you to be lolling about on the grass like that! Queens 
have to be dignified, you know!" 

So she got up and walked about — rather stiffly just at 
first, as she was afraid that the crown might come off : but 
she comforted herself with the thought that there was 
nobody to see her, "and if I really am a Queen," she said 
as she sat down again, "I shall be able to manage it quite 
well in time." 

Everything was happening so oddly that she didn't feel 
a bit surprised at finding the Red Queen and the White 
Queen sitting close to her, one on each side: she would 
have liked very much to ask them how they came there, 
but she feared it would not be quite civil. However, there 
would be no harm, she thought, in asking if the game was 

over. "Please, would you tell me " she began, looking 

timidly at the Red Queen. 

"Speak when you're spoken to!" the Queen sharply in- 
terrupted her. 

"But if everybody obeyed that rule," said Alice, who 
was always ready for a little argument, "and if you only 


spoke when you were spoken to, and the other person al- 
ways waited for you to begin, you see nobody would ever 
say anything, so that " 

"Ridiculous!" cried the Queen. "Why, don't you see, 

child " here she broke off with a frown, and, after 

thinking for a minute, suddenly changed the subject of 
the conversation. "What do you mean by 'If you really are 
a Queen' ? What right have you to call yourself so ? You 
ca'n't be a Queen, you know, till you've passed the proper 
examination. And the sooner we begin it, the better." 

"I only said *if'!" poor Alice pleaded in a piteous tone. 

The two Queens looked at each other, and the Red 
Queen remarked, with a little shudder, "She says she only 
said 'if " 

"But she said a great deal more than that!" the White 
Queen moaned, wringing her hands. "Oh, ever so much 
more than that!" 

"So you did, you know," the Red Queen said to Alice. 
"Always speak the truth — think before you speak — and 
write it down afterwards." 

"I'm sure I didn't mean " Alice was beginning, but 

the Red Queen interrupted her impatiently. 

"That's just what I complain of! You should have 
meant! What do you suppose is the use of a child without 
any meaning? Even a joke should have some meaning — 
and a child's more important than a joke, I hope. You 
couldn't deny that, even if you tried with both hands." 

"I don't deny things with my hands/' Alice objected. 

"Nobody said you did," said the Red Queen. "I said you 
couldn't if you tried." 

"She's in that state of mind," said the White Queen, 
"that she wants to deny something — only she doesn't 
know what to deny!" 

"A nasty, vicious temper," the Red Queen remarked; 


and then there was an uncomfortable silence for a minute 
or two. 

The Red Queen broke the silence by saying, to the 
White Queen, "I invite you to Alice's dinner-party this 

The White Queen smiled feebly, and said "And I in- 
vite you'' 

'" ■ ■ '^:^t^^,^i^^y 

"I didn't know I was to have a party at all," said Alice; 
"but, if there is to be one, I think / ought to invite the 

"We gave you the opportunity of doing it," the Red 
Queen remarked: "but I daresay you've not had many 
lessons in manners yet." 

"Manners are not taught in lessons," said Alice. "Les- 
sons teach you to do sums, and things of that sort." 

"Can you do Addition?" the White Queen asked. 
"What's one and one and one and one and one and one 
and one and one and one and one?" 

"I don't know," said Alice. "I lost count." 


"She ca'n't do Addition," the Red Queen interrupted. 
"Can you do Subtraction? Take nine from eight." 

"Nine from eight I ca'n't, you know," AUce repHed 
very readily: "but " 

"She ca'n't do Subtraction," said the White Queen. 
"Can you do Division? Divide a loaf by a knife — what's 
the answer to thatV 

"I suppose " Alice was beginning, but the Red 

Queen answered for her. "Bread-and-butter, of course. 
Try another Subtraction sum. Take a bone from a dog: 
what remains?" 

Alice considered. "The bone wouldn't remain, of 
course, if I took it — and the dog wouldn't remain: it 
would come to bite me — and I'm sure / shouldn't re- 

"Then you think nothing would remain?" said the 
Red Queen. 

"I think that's the answer." 

"Wrong, as usual," said the Red Queen: "the dog's 
temper would remain." 

"But I don't see how " 

"Why, look here!" the Red Queen cried. "The dog 
would lose its temper, wouldn't it?" 

"Perhaps it would," Alice replied cautiously. 

"Then if the dog went away, its temper would re- 
main!" the Queen exclaimed triumphantly. 

Aliee said, as gravely as she could, "They might go dif- 
ferent ways." But she couldn't help thinking to herself 
"What dreadful nonsense we are talking!" 

"She ca'n't do sums a bitV the Queens said together, 
with great emphasis. 

"Can you do sums?" Alice said, turning suddenly on 
the White Queen, for she didn't like being found fault 
with so much. 


The Queen gasped and shut her eyes. "I can do Addi- 
tion," she said, "if you give me time — but I ca'n't do Sub- 
traction under any circumstances!" 

"Of course you know your ABC?" said the Red Queen. 

"To be sure I do," said AUce. 

"So do I," the White Queen whispered: "we'll often 
say it over together, dear. And I'll tell you a secret — I can 
read words of one letter! Isn't that grand? However, 
don't be discouraged. You'll come to it in time." 

Here the Red Queen began again. "Can you answer 
useful questions?" she said. "How is bread made?" 

"I know thatV Alice cried eagerly. "You take some 
flour " 

"Where do you pick the flower?" the White Queen 
asked: "In a garden or in the hedges?" 

"Well, it isn't pic\ed at all," Alice explained: "it's 
ground " 

"How many acres of ground?" said the White Queen. 
"You mustn't leave out so many things." 

"Fan her head!" the Red Queen anxiously interrupted. 
"She'll be feverish after so much thinking." So they set to 
work and fanned her with bunches of leaves, till she had 
to beg them to leave off, it blew her hair about so. 

"She's all right again now," said the Red Queen. "Do 
you know Languages? What's the French for fiddle-de- 

"Fiddle-de-dee's not English," Alice replied gravely. 

"Who ever said it was?" said the Red Queen. 

Alice thought she saw a way out of the difficulty, this 
time. "If you'll tell me what language 'fiddle-de-dee' is, 
I'll tell you the French for it!" she exclaimed trium- 

But the Red Queen drew herself up rather stiffly, and 
said "Queens never make bargains." 


"I wish Queens never asked questions," Alice thought 
to herself. 

"Don't let us quarrel," the White Queen said in an 
anxious tone. "What is the cause of lightning?" 

"The cause of lightning," Alice said very decidedly, for 
she felt quite certain about this, "is the thunder — no, no!" 
she hastily corrected herself. "I meant the other way." 

"It's too late to correct it," said the Red Queen: "when 
you've once said a thing, that fixes it, and you must take 
the consequences." 

"Which reminds me " the White Queen said, look- 
ing down and nervously clasping and unclasping her 
hands, "we had such a thunderstorm last Tuesday — I 
mean one of the last set of Tuesdays, you know." 

Alice was puzzled. "In our country,^' she remarked, 
"there's only one day at a time." 

The Red Queen said "That's a poor thin way of do- 
ing things. Now here^ we mostly have days and nights 
two or three at a time, and sometimes in the winter we 
take as many as five nights together — for warmth, you 

"Are five nights warmer than one night, then?" Alice 
ventured to ask. 

"Five times as warm, of course." 

"But they should be five times as cold^ by the same 
rule " 

"Just so!" cried the Red Queen. "Five times as warm, 
and five times as cold — just as I'm five times as rich as 
you are, and five times as clever!" 

Alice sighed and gave it up. "It's exactly like a riddle 
with no answer!" she thought. 

"Humpty Dumpty saw it too," the White Queen went 
on in a low voice, more as if she were talking to herself. 
"He came to the door with a corkscrew in his hand " 


"What did he want?" said the Red Queen. 

"He said he would come in," the White Queen went 
on, "because he was looking for a hippopotamus. Now, 
as it happened, there wasn't such a thing in the house, 
that morning." 

"Is there generally?" Alice asked in an astonished tone. 

"Well, only on Thursdays," said the Queen. 

"I know what he came for," said Alice: "he wanted to 
punish the fish, because " 

Here the White Queen began again. "It was such a 
thunderstorm, you ca'n't think!" ("She never could, you 
know," said the Red Queen.) "And part of the roof came 
oflF, and ever so much thunder got in — and it went rolling 
round the room in great lumps — and knocking over the 
tables and things — till I was so frightened, I couldn't re- 
member my own name!" 

Alice thought to herself "I never should try to remem- 
ber my name in the middle of an accident! Where would 
be the use of it?" but she did not say this aloud, for fear 
of hurting the poor Queen's feelings. 

"Your Majesty must excuse her," the Red Queen said to 
Alice, taking one of the White Queen's hands in her own, 
and gently stroking it: "she means well, but she ca'n't 
help saying foolish things as a general rule." 

The White Queen looked timidly at Alice, who felt she 
ought to say something kind, but really couldn't think of 
anything at the moment. 

"She never was really well brought up," the Red Queen 
went on: "but it's amazing how good-tempered she is! 
Pat her on the head, and see how pleased she'll be!" But 
this was more than Alice had courage to do. 

"A little kindness — and putting her hair in papers — 
would do wonders with her " 


The White Queen gave a deep sigh, and laid her head 
on AUce's shoulder. "I am so sleepy!" she moaned. 

"She's tired, poor thing!" said the Red Queen. "Smooth 
her hair — lend her your nightcap — and sing her a sooth- 
ing lullaby." 

"I haven't got a nightcap with me/' said Alice, as she 

> . 

tried to obey the first direction: "and I don't know any 
soothing lullabies." 

"I must do it myself, then," said the Red Queen, and 
she began: — 


Hush-a-by lady, in Alice's lap! 

Till the feast's ready, we've time for a nap. 

When the feast's over, we'll go to the ball — 

Red Queen, and White Queen, and Alice, and all! 

"And now you know the words," she added, as she put 
her head down on Alice's other shoulder, "just sing it 
through to me, I'm getting sleepy, too." In another mo- 
ment both Queens were fast asleep, and snoring loud. 


"What am I to do?" exclaimed Alice, looking about in 
great perplexity, as first one round head, and then the 
other, rolled down from her shoulder, and lay like a heavy 
lump in her lap. "I don't think it ever happened before, 
that any one had to take care of two Queens asleep at 
once! No, not in all the History of England — it couldn't, 
you know, because there never was more than one Queen 
at a time. Do wake up, you heavy things!" she went on in 
an impatient tone; but there was no answer but a gentle 

The snoring got more distinct every minute, and sound- 
ed more like a tune: at last she could even make out 
words, and she listened so eagerly that, when the two 
great heads suddenly vanished from her lap, she hardly 
missed them. 

She was standing before an arched doorway, over which 
were the words "QUEEN ALICE" in large letters, and 
on each side of the arch there was a bell-handle ; one was 
marked "Visitors' Bell," and the other "Servants' Bell." 

"I'll wait till the song's over," thought Alice, "and then 
rU ring the — the — which bell must I ring?" she went on, 
very much puzzled by the names. "I'm not a visitor, and 
I'm not a servant. There ought to be one marked 'Queen,' 
you know " 

Just then the door opened a little way, and a creature 
with a long beak put its head out for a moment and said 
"No admittance till the week after next!" and shut the 
door again with a bang. 

Alice knocked and rang in vain for a long time; but at 
last a very old Frog, who was sitting under a tree, got up 
and hobbled slowly towards her : he was dressed in bright 
yellow, and had enormous boots on. 

"What is it, now?" the Frog said in a deep hoarse 


Alice turned round, ready to find fault with anybody. 
"Where's the servant whose business it is to answer the 
door?" she began angrily. 

"Which door?" said the Frog. 

Alice almost stamped with irritation at the slow drawl 
in which he spoke. ''This door, of course!" 

The Frog looked at the door with his large dull eyes 
for a minute : then he went nearer and rubbed it with his 
thumb, as if he were trying whether the paint would 
come off: then he looked at Alice. 

"To answer the door?" he said. "What's it been asking 


of?" He was so hoarse that AUce could scarcely hear him. 

"I don't know what you mean," she said. 

"I speaks English, doesn't I?" the Frog went on. "Or 
are you deaf? What did it ask you?" 

"Nothing!" Alice said impatiently. "I've been knock- 
ing at it!" 

"Shouldn't do that— shouldn't do that " the Frog 

muttered. "Wexes it, you know." Then he went up and 
gave the door a kick with one of his great feet. "You let it 
alone," he panted out, as he hobbled back to his tree, "and 
it'll let you alone, you know." 

At this moment the door was flung open, and a shrill 
voice was heard singing: — 

"To the Loo\ing'Glass world it was Alice that said 
Tve a sceptre in hand I've a crown on my head. 
Let the LooJ{ing-Glass creatures, whatever they be 
Come and dine with the Red Queen, the White Queen, and 

And hundreds of voices joined in the chorus: — 

"Then fill up the glasses as quic\ as you can. 
And sprin\le the table with buttons and bran: 
Put cats in the coffee, and mice in the tea — 
And welcome Queen Alice with thirty-times-threeV* 

Then followed a confused noise of cheering, and Alice 
thought to herself "Thirty times three makes ninety. I 
wonder if any one's counting?" In a minute there was si- 
lence again, and the same shrill voice sang another 
verse : — 

a t 

O Loo\ing-Glass creatures' quoth Alice, draw near! 
'Tis an honour to see me, a favour to hear: 


'Tis a privilege high to have dinner and tea 

Along with the Red Queen, the White Queen, and meV '" 

The came the chorus again: — 

''Then fill up the glasses with treacle and in\. 
Or anything else that is pleasant to drinf{: 
Mix sand with the cider, and wool with the wine — 
And welcome Queen Alice with ninety -time s-nineV 

"Ninety times nine!" AUce repeated in despair. "Oh, 

that'll never be done! I'd better go in at once " and in 

she went, and there was a dead silence the moment she 

Alice glanced nervously along the table, as she walked 
up the large hall, and noticed that there were about fifty 
guests, of all kinds: some were animals, some birds, and 
there were even a few flowers among them. "I'm glad 
they've come without waiting to be asked," she thought: 
"I should never have known who were the right people 
to invite!" 

There were three chairs at the head of the table: the 
Red and White Queens had already taken two of them, 
but the middle one was empty. Alice sat down in it, rath- 
er uncomfortable at the silence, and longing for some one 
to speak. 

At last the Red Queen began. "You've missed the soup 
and fish," she said. "Put on the joint!" And the waiters 
set a leg of mutton before Alice, who looked at it rather 
anxiously, as she had never had to carve a joint before. 

"You look a little shy : let me introduce you to that leg 
of mutton," said the Red Queen. "Alice Mutton : Mut- 
ton Alice." The leg of mutton got up in the dish and 

made a little bow to Alice! and Alice returned the bow, 
not knowing whether to be frightened or amused. 


'May I give you a slice?" she said, taking up the knife 
and fork, and looking from one Queen to the other. 

"Certainly not," the Red Queen said very, decidedly: *'it 
isn't etiquette to cut any one you've been introduced to. 
Remove the joint!" And the waiters carried it off, and 
brought a large plum-pudding in its place. 


"I won't be introduced to the pudding, please," Alice 
said rather hastily, "or we shall get no dinner at all. May 
I give you some?" 

But the Red Queen looked sulky, and growled "Pud- 
ding Alice: Alice Pudding. Remove the pudding!" 

and the waiters took it away so quickly that Alice couldn't 
return its bow. 

However, she didn't see why the Red Queen should 
be the only one to give orders; so, as an experiment, she 
called out "Waiter! Bring back the pudding!" and there it 


was again in a moment, like a conjuring-trick. It was so 
large that she couldn't help feeling a little shy with it, as 
she had been with the mutton; however, she conquered 
her shyness by a great effort, and cut a slice and handed 
it to the Red Queen. 

"What impertinence!" said the Pudding. "I wonder 
how you'd like it, if I were to cut a slice out of you^ you 

It spoke in a thick, suety sort of voice, and Alice hadn't 
a word to say in reply: she could only sit and look at it 
and gasp. 

"Make a remark," said the Red Queen: "it's ridiculous 
to leave all the conversation to the pudding!" 

"Do you know, I've had such a quantity of poetry re- 
peated to me to-day," Alice began, a little frightened at 
finding that, the moment she opened her lips, there was 
dead silence, and all eyes were fixed upon her; "and it's a 
very curious thing, I think — every poem was about fishes 
in some way. Do you know why they're so fond of fishes, 
all about here?" 

She spoke to the Red Queen, whose answer was a little 
wide of the mark. "As to fishes," she said, very slowly and 
solemnly, putting her mouth close to Alice's ear, "her 
White Majesty knows a lovely riddle — all in poetry — all 
about fishes. Shall she repeat it?" 

"Her Red Majesty's very kind to mention it," the White 
Queen murmured into Alice's other ear, in a voice like 
the cooing of a pigeon. "It would be such a treat! May I?" 

"Please do," Alice said very politely. 

The White Queen laughed with delight, and stroked 
Alice's cheek. Then she began: 

it t 

'First, the fish must be caught! 
That is easy: a baby, I thin\, could have caught it. 


'Next, the fish must be bought' 
That is easy: a penny, I thin\, would have bought it, 

'Now coo\ me the fish!' 
That is easy, and will not ta\e more than a minute. 

'Let it lie in a dishV 
That is easy, because it already is in it, 

'Bring it herel Let me sup!' 
It is easy to set such a dish on the table, 

'Ta\e the dish-cover up!' 
Ah, that is so hard that I fear I'm unable! 

For it holds it li\e glue — 
Holds the lid to the dish, while it lies in the middle: 

Which is easiest to do, 
Un-dish'Cover the fish, or dishcover the riddle?" 

"Take a minute to think about it, and then guess/' said 
the Red Queen. "Meanwhile, we'll drink your health — 
Queen Alice's health!" she screamed at the top of her 
voice, and all the guests began drinking it directly, and 
very queerly they managed it: some of them put their 
glasses upon their heads like extinguishers, and drank all 
that trickled down their faces — others upset the decanters, 
and drank the wine as it ran off the edges of the table — 
and three of them (who looked like kangaroos) scram- 
bled into the dish of roast mutton, and began eagerly lap- 
ping up the gravy, "just like pigs in a trough!" thought 

"You ought to return thanks in a neat speech," the 
Red Queen said, frowning at Alice as she spoke. 

"We must support you, you know," the White Queen 
whispered, as Alice got up to do it, very obediently, but a 
little frightened. 

"Thank you very much," she whispered in reply, "but I 
can do quite well without." 



"That wouldn't be at all 
the thing," the Red Queen 
said very decidedly: so 
Alice tried to submit to it 
with a good grace. 

("And they did push 
so!" she said afterwards, 
when she was telling her 
sister the history of the 
feast. "You would have 
thought they wanted to 
squeeze me flat!") 

In fact it was rather difficult for her to keep in her place 
while she made her speech : the two Queens pushed her so, 
one on each side, that they nearly lifted her up into the 


air. "I rise to return thanks " Alice began: and she 

really did rise as she spoke, several inches; but she got hold 
of the edge of the table, and managed to pull herself down 

"Take care of yourself!" screamed the White Queen, 
seizing Alice's hair with both her hands. "Something's 
going to happen!' 

And then (as Alice afterwards described it) all sorts of 
things happened in a moment. The candles all grew up to 
the ceiling, looking something like a bed of rushes with 
fireworks at the top. As to the bottles, they each took a 
pair of plates, which they hastily fitted on as wings, and 
so, with forks for legs, went fluttering about in all direc- 
tions: "and very like birds they look," Alice thought to 
herself, as well as she could in the dreadful confusion that 
was beginning. 

At this moment she heard a hoarse laugh at her side, 
and turned to see what was the matter with the White 
Queen; but, instead of the Queen, there was the leg of 
mutton sitting in the chair. "Here I am!" cried a voice 
from the soup-tureen, and Alice turned again, just in time 
to see the Queen's broad good-natured face grinning at 
her for a moment over the edge of the tureen, before she 
disappeared into the soup. 

There was not a moment to be lost. Already several of 
the guests were lying down in the dishes, and the soup- 
ladle was walking up the table towards Alice's chair, and 
beckoning to her impatiently to get out of its way. 

"I ca'n't stand this any longer!" she cried, as she jumped 
up and seized the tablecloth with both hands: one good 
pull, and plates, dishes, guests, and candles came crashing 
down together in a heap on the floor. 

"And as for yoUy' she went on, turning fiercely upon 
the Red Queen, whom she considered as the cause of all 


the mischief — but the Queen was no longer at her side — 
she had suddenly dwindled down to the size of a little 
doll, and was now on the table, merrily running round 
and round after her own shawl, which was trailing be- 
hind her. 

At any other time, Alice would have felt surprised at 
this, but she was far too much excited to be surprised at 
anything now, "As for you^' she repeated, catching hold 
of the little creature in the very act of jumping over a bot- 
tle which had just lighted upon the table, "I'll shake you 
into a kitten, that I will!" 

Chapter X 
. Shaking 

She took her off the table as she spoke, and shook her 
backwards and forwards with all her might. 

The Red Queen made no resistance whatever : only her 
face grew very small, and her eyes got large and green: 
and still, as Alice went on shaking her, she kept on 
growing shorter — and fatter — and softer — and rounder — 

Chapter XI 


-and it really was a kitten, after all. 


Chapter XII 
Which Dreamed It ? 

"Your Red Majesty shouldn't purr so loud/' Alice said, 
rubbing her eyes, and addressing the kitten, respectfully, 
yet with some severity. "You woke me out of oh! such a 
nice dream! And you've been along with me, Kitty — 
all through the Looking-glass world. Did you know it, 

It is a very inconvenient habit of kittens (Alice had 
once made the remark) that, whatever you say to them, 
they always purr. "If they would only purr for 'yes,' and 
mew for *no,' or any rule of that sort," she had said, "so 
that one could keep up a conversation! But how can you 
talk with a person if they always say the same thing?" 

On this occasion the kitten only purred : and it was im- 
possible to guess whether it meant "yes" or "no." 

So Alice hunted among the chessmen on the table till 
she had found the Red Queen : then she went down on her 
knees on the hearth-rug, and put the kitten and the Queen 
to look at each other. "Now, Kitty!" she cried, clapping 
her hands triumphantly. "Confess that was what you 
turned into!" 

("But it wouldn't look at it," she said, when she was 
explaining the thing afterwards to her sister: "it turned 
away its head, and pretended not to see it : but it looked a 
little ashamed of itself, so I think it must have been the 
Red Queen.") 

"Sit up a little more stiffly, dear!" Alice cried with a 
merry laugh. "And curtsey while you're thinking what 
to — what to purr. It saves time, remember!" And she 
caught it up and gave it one little kiss, "just in honor of 
its having been a Red Queen." 



"Snowdrop, my pet!" she went on, looking over her 
shoulder at the White Kitten, which was still patiently 
undergoing its toilet, "when will Dinah have finished 
with your White Majesty, I wonder? That must be the 

reason you were so untidy in my dream. Dinah! Do 

you know that you're scrubbing a White Queen ? Really, 
it's most disrespectful of you! 

"And what did Dinah turn to, I wonder?" she prattled 
on, as she settled comfortably down, with one elbow on 
the rug, and her chin in her hand, to watch the kittens. 
"Tell me, Dinah, did you turn to Humpty Dumpty? I 
thin\ you did — however, you'd better not mention it to 
your friends just yet, for I'm not sure. 

"By the way, Kitty, if only you'd been really with me in 
my dream, there was one thing you would have enjoyed 


1 had such a quantity of poetry said to me, all about 

fishes! To-morrow morning you shall have a real treat. 
All the time you're eating your breakfast, FU repeat 'The 
Walrus and the Carpenter' to you; and then you can 
make believe it's oysters, dear! 

"Now, Kitty, let's consider who it was that dreamed it 
all. This is a serious question, my dear, and you should 
not go on licking your paw like that — as if Dinah hadn't 
washed you this morning! You see, Kitty, it must have 
been either me or the Red King. He was part of my 
dream, of course — but then I was part of his dream, too! 
Was it the Red King, Kitty ? You were his wife, my dear, 

so you ought to know Oh, Kitty, do help to settle it! 

I'm sure your paw can wait!" But the provoking kitten 
only began on the other paw, and pretended it hadn't 
heard the question. 

Which do you think it was? 

A BOAT, beneath a sunny sky 
Lingering onward dreamily 
In an evening of July — 

Children three that nestle near, 
Eager eye and willing ear, 
Pleased a simple tale to hear — 

Long has paled that sunny sky: 
Echoes fade and memories die: 
Autumn frosts have slain July. 

Still she haunts me, phantomwise. 
Alice moving under skies 
Never seen by waking eyes. 

Children yet, the tale to hear, 
Eager eye and willing ear. 
Lovingly shall nestle near. 

In a Wonderland they lie. 
Dreaming as the days go by. 
Dreaming as the summers die : 

Ever drifting down the stream — 
Lingering in the golden gleam — 
Life, what is it but a dream? 

Editor's note: The initial letters of this poem 
when read downward give the full name of 
the original Alice — Alice Pleasance Liddell. 


A»»»»»»»»»»»»»««««««««««««« A 

A A 

A A 

A A 

A A 

* ft 

ft ft 

ft ft 

A A 

in I 

I Sylvie and Bruno | 

A A 

A A 

A A 

A 6 

A A 

A A 

A A 

A A 

A A 

A A 

A A 

A A 

A A 

V y 

V X 

V V 

V X 

V X 

V X 

V X 

V X 

V X 

V y 

V y 

V X 

V y 

V V 

V y 

V X 

V y 

V y 

V X 

V V 

V y 

V V 

V y 

V V 

V y 

V V 

V V 

V V 

V V 

V y 

V V 

V V 

V V 

V V 

V V 

V V 

V V 

V V 

V V 

y V 

V V 

V V 

X V 















Is all our Life, then, but a dream 
Seen faintly in the golden gleam 
Athwart Time's dark resistless stream? 

Bowed to the earth with bitter woe. 
Or laughing at some raree-show. 
We flutter idly to and fro. 

Man's little Day in haste we spend. 
And, from its merry noontide, send 
No glance to meet the silent end. 




The descriptions, at pp. 498, 499, of Sunday as spent by 
children o£ the last generation, are quoted verbatim from 
a speech made to me by a child-friend and a letter writ- 
ten to me by a lady-friend. 

The Chapters, headed "Fairy Sylvie" and "Bruno's Re- 
venge," are a reprint, with a few alterations, of a little 
fairy-tale which I wrote in the year 1867, at the request of 
the late Mrs. Gatty, for "Aunt Judy's Magazine," which 
she was then editing. 

It was in 1874, I believe, that the idea first occurred to 
me of making it the nucleus of a longer story. As the years 
went on, I jotted down, at odd moments, all sorts of odd 
ideas, and fragments of dialogue, that occurred to me — 
who knows how? — with a transitory suddenness that left 
me no choice but either to record them then and there, or 
to abandon them to oblivion. Sometimes one could trace 
to their source these random flashes of thought — as being 
suggested by the book one was reading, or struck out 
from the "flint" of one's own mind by the "steel" of a 
friend's chance remark — but they had also a way of their 
own, of occurring, a propos of nothing — specimens of that 
hopelessly illogical phenomenon, "an eflfect without a 
cause." Such, for example, was the last line of "The Hunt- 
ing of the Snark," which came into my head (as I have al- 
ready related in "The Theatre" for April, 1887) quite sud- 
denly, during a solitary walk ; and such, again, have been 
passages which occurred in dreams^ and which I cannot 



trace to any antecedent cause whatever. There are at least 
two instances of such dream-suggestions in this book — 
one, my Lady's remark, "it often runs in famiUes, just as a 
love for pastry does", at p. 333; the other, Eric Lindon's 
badinage about having been in domestic service, at p. 468. 

And thus it came to pass that I found myself at last in 
possession of a huge unwieldy mass of litterature — if the 
reader will kindly excuse the spelling — which only needed 
stringing together, upon the thread of a consecutive story, 
to constitute the book I hoped to write. Only! The task, 
at first, seemed absolutely hopeless, and gave me a far 
clearer idea, than I ever had before, of the meaning of the 
word "chaos" : and I think it must have been ten years, or 
more, before I had succeeded in classifying these odds- 
and-ends sufficiently to see what sort of a story they indi- 
cated : for the story had to grow out of the incidents, not 
the incidents out of the story. 

I am telling all this, in no spirit of egoism, but because I 
really believe that some of my readers will be interested in 
these details of the "genesis" of a book, which looks so 
simple and straight-forward a matter, when completed, 
that they might suppose it to have been written straight 
off, page by page, as one would write a letter, beginning 
at the beginning and ending at the end. 

It is, no doubt, possible to write a story in that way: and, 
if it be not vanity to say so, I believe that I could, myself, 
— if I were in the unfortunate position (for I do hold it to 
be a real misfortune) of being obliged to produce a given 
amount of fiction in a given time that I could "fulfil my 
task," and produce my "tale of bricks," as other slaves have 
done. One thing, at any rate I could guarantee as to the 
story so produced — that it should be utterly commonplace, 
should contain no new ideas whatever, and should be 
very very weary reading! 


This species of literature has received the very appro- 
priate name of "padding" — which might fitly be defined 
as "that which all can write and none can read." That the 
present volume contains no such writing I dare not avow: 
sometimes, in order to bring a picture into its proper place, 
it has been necessary to eke out a page with two or three 
extra lines: but I can honestly say I have put in no more 
than I was absolutely compelled to do. 

My readers may perhaps like to amuse themselves by 
trying to detect, in a given passage, the one piece of "pad- 
ding" it contains. While arranging the "slips" into pages, I 
found that the passage, which now extends from the bot- 
tom of p. 304 to the top of p. 307, was 3 lines too short. I 
supplied the deficiency, not by interpolating a word here 
and a word there, but by writing in 3 consecutive lines* 
Now can my readers guess which they are ? 

A harder puzzle — if a harder be desired — would be to 
determine, as to the Gardener's Song, in which cases (if 
any) the stanza was adapted to the surrounding text, and 
in which (if any) the text was adapted to the stanza. 

Perhaps the hardest thing in all literature — at least / 
have found it so : by no voluntary effort can I accomplish 
it: I have to take it as it comes — is to write anything 
original. And perhaps the easiest is, when once an orig- 
inal line has been struck out, to follow it up, and to write 
any amount more to the same tune. I do not know i£ 
"Alice in Wonderland" was an original story — I was, at 
least, no conscious imitator in writing it — but I do know 
that, since it came out, something like a dozen story-books 
have appeared, on identically the same pattern. The path 
I timidly explored — believing myself to be "the first that 
ever burst into that silent sea" — is now a beaten high- 
road: all the way-side flowers have long ago been tram- 


pled into the dust: and it would be courting disaster for 
me to attempt that style again. 

Hence it is that, in "Sylvie and Bruno," I have striven — 
with I know not what success — to strike out yet another 
new path: be it bad or good, it is the best I can do. It is 
written, not for money, and not for fame, but in the hope 
of supplying, for the children whom I love, some thoughts 
that may suit those hours of innocent merriment which 
ire the very life of Childhood; and also, in the hope of 
suggesting, to them and to others, some thoughts that may 
prove, I would fain hope, not wholly out of harmony with 
the graver cadences of Life. 

If I have not already exhausted the patience of my read- 
ers, I would like to seize this opportunity — perhaps the 
last I shall have of addressing so many friends at once — 
c f putting on record some ideas that have occurred to me, 
a^ to books desirable to be written — which I should much 
like to attempt^ but may not ever have the time or power 
to carry through — in the hope that, if / should fail (and 
the years are gliding away very fast) to finish the task I 
have set myself, other hands may take it up. 

First, a Child's Bible. The only real essentials of this 
would be, carefully selected passages, suitable for a child's 
reading, and pictures. One principle of selection, which I 
would adopt, would be that Religion should be put before 
a child as a revelation of love — no need to pain and puzzle 
the young mind with the history of crime and punish- 
ment. (On such a principle I should, for example, omit 
the history of the Flood.) The supplying of the pictures 
would involve no great difficulty : no new ones would be 
needed: hundreds of excellent pictures already exist, the 
copyright of which has long ago expired, and which sim- 
ply need photo-zincography, or some similar process, for 


their successful reproduction. The book should be handy 
in size — with a pretty attractive-looking cover — in a clear 
legible type — and, above all, w^ith abundance of pictures, 
pictures, pictures! 

Secondly, a book of pieces selected from the Bible — not 
single texts, but passages of from 10 to 20 verses each — to 
be committed to memory. Such passages would be found 
useful, to repeat to one's-self and to ponder over, on many 
occasions when reading is difficult, if not impossible: for 
instance, when lying awake at night — on a railway- 
journey — when taking a solitary walk — in old age, when 
eye-sight is failing or wholly lost — and, best of all, when 
illness, while incapacitating us for reading or any other 
occupation, condemns us to lie awake through many 
weary silent hours: at such a time how keenly one may 
realise the truth of David's rapturous cry ''O how sweet 
are thy words unto my throat: yea, sweeter than honey 
unto my mouths' 

I have said "passages," rather than single texts, because 
we have no means of recalling single texts : memory needs 
lin\s^ and here are none: one may have a hundred texts 
stored in the memory, and not be able to recall, at will, 
more than half-a-dozen — and those by mere chance: 
whereas, once get hold of any portion of a chapter that has 
been committed to memory, and the whole can be re- 
covered: all hangs together. 

Thirdly, a collection of passages, both prose and verse, 
from books other than the Bible. There is not perhaps 
much, in what is called "un-inspired" literature (a mis- 
nomer, I hold: if Shakespeare was not inspired, one may 
well doubt if any man ever was), that will bear the pro- 
cess of being pondered over, a hundred times: still there 
are such passages — enough, I think, to make a goodly 
store for the memory. 


These two books — o£ sacred, and secular, passages for 
memory — will serve other good purposes besides merely 
occupying vacant hours: they will help to keep at bay 
many anxious thoughts, worrying thoughts, uncharitable 
thoughts, unholy thoughts. Let me say this, in better 
words than my own, by copying a passage from that most 
interesting book, Robertson's Lectures on the Epistles to 
the Corinthians, Lecture xlix. "If a man finds himself 
haunted by evil desires and unholy images, which will 
generally be at periodical hours, let him commit to mem- 
ory passages of Scripture, or passages from the best writ- 
ers in verse or prose. Let him store his mind with these, as 
safeguards to repeat when he lies awake in some restless 
night, or when despairing imaginations, or gloomy, sui- 
cidal thoughts, beset him. Let these be to him the sword, 
turning everywhere to keep the way of the Garden of Life 
from the intrusion of profaner footsteps." 

Fourthly, a "Shakespeare" for girls: that is, an edition 
in which everything, not suitable for the perusal of girls 
of (say) from 10 to 17, should be omitted. Few children 
under 10 would be likely to understand or enjoy the great- 
est of poets : and those, who have passed out of girlhood, 
may safely be left to read Shakespeare, in any edition, 
"expurgated" or not, that they may prefer; but it seems a 
pity that so many children, in the intermediate stage, 
should be debarred from a great pleasure for want of an 
edition suitable to them. Neither Bowdler's, Chambers's, 
Brandram's, nor Cundell's "Boudoir" Shakespeare, seems 
to me to meet the want: they are not sufficiently "expur- 
gated." Bowdler's is the most extraordinary of all : looking 
through it, I am filled with a deep sense of wonder, con- 
sidering what he has left in, that he should have cut any- 
thing out! Besides relentlessly erasing all that is unsuit- 
able on the score of reverence or decency, I should be in- 


clined to omit also all that seems too difficult, or not likely 
to interest young readers. The resulting book might be 
slightly fragmentary : but it would be a real treasure to all 
British maidens who have any taste for poetry. 

If it be needful to apologize to any one for the new de- 
parture I have taken in this story — by introducing, along 
with what will, I hope, prove to be acceptable nonsense 
for children, some of the graver thoughts of human life — 
it must be to one who has learned the Art of keeping such 
thoughts wholly at a distance in hours of mirth and care- 
less ease. To him such a mixture will seem, no doubt, ill- 
judged and repulsive. And that such an Art exists I do not 
dispute : with youth, good health, and sufficient money, it 
seems quite possible to lead, for years together, a life of 
unmixed gaiety — with the exception of one solemn fact, 
with which we are liable to be confronted at any moment, 
even in the midst of the most brilliant company or the 
most sparkling entertainment. A man may fix his own 
times for admitting serious thought, for attending public 
worship, for prayer, for reading the Bible: all such mat- 
ters he can defer to that "convenient season," which is so 
apt never to occur at all: but he cannot defer, for one 
single moment, the necessity of attending to a message, 
which may come before he has finished reading this page, 
''this night shall thy soul he required of thee!' 

The ever-present sense of this grim possibility has been, 
in all ages,-^ an incubus that men have striven to shake off. 
Few more interesting subjects of enquiry could be found, 
by a student of history, than the various weapons that 
have been used against this shadowy foe. Saddest of all 
must have been the thoughts of those who saw indeed an 

At the moment, when I had written these words, there was a 
knock at the door, and a telegram was brought me, announcing the 
sudden death of a dear friend. 


existence beyond the grave, but an existence far more ter- 
rible than annihilation — an existence as filmy, impalpable, 
all but invisible spectres, drifting about, through endless 
ages, in a world of shadows, with nothing to do, nothing 
to hope for, nothing to love! In the midst of the gay verses 
of that genial "bon vivant" Horace, there stands one 
dreary word whose utter sadness goes to one's heart. It is 
the word ''exilium' in the well-known passage 

Omnes eodem cogitnur, omnium 
Versatur urnd serius ocius 
Sors exitura et nos in ceternum 
Exilium impositura cymbce. 

Yes, to him this present life — spite of all its weariness 
and all its sorrow — v/as the only life worth having : all else 
was "exile"! Does it not seem almost incredible that one, 
holding such a creed, should ever have smiled? 

And many in this day, I fear, even though believing in 
an existence beyond the grave far more real than Horace 
ever dreamed of, yet regard it as a sort of "exile" from all 
the joys of life, and so adopt Horace's theory, and say "let 
us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die." 

We go to entertainments, such as the theatre — I say 
"we", for / also go to the play, whenever I get a chance of 
seeing a really good one — and keep at arm's length, if pos- 
sible, the thought that we may not return alive. Yet how 
do you know — dear friend, whose patience has carried 
you through this garrulous preface — that it may not be 
your lot, when mirth is fastest and most furious, to feel 
the sharp pang, or the deadly faintness, which heralds the 
final crisis — to see, with vague wonder, anxious friends 
bending over you — to hear their troubled whispers — per- 
haps yourself to shape the question, with trembling lips, 
"Is it serious?", and to be told "Yes: the end is near" (and 


oh, how different all Life will look when those words are 
said!) — how do you know, I say, that all this may not 
happen to you, this night? 

And dare you, knowing this, say to yourself "Well, per- 
haps it is an immoral play: perhaps the situations are a 
little too Visky', the dialogue a little too strong, the 'busi- 
ness' a little too suggestive. I don't say that conscience is 
quite easy: but the piece is so clever, I must see it this 
once! I'll begin a stricter life to-morrow." To-morrow, 
and to-morrow , and to-morrow! 

^'Who sins in hope, who, sinning, says, 
'Sorrow for sin God's judgement stays!' 
Against God's Spirit he lies; quite stops 
Mercy with insult; dares, and drops, 
Li\e a scorch' d fly, that spins in vain 
Upon the axis of its pain. 
Then ta\es its doom, to limp and crawl, 
Blind and forgot, from fall to fall." 

Let me pause for a moment to say that I believe this 
thought, of the possibility of death — if calmly realised, and 
steadily faced — would be one of the best possible tests as to 
our going to any scene of amusement being right or 
wrong. If the thought of sudden death acquires, for you, 
a special horror when imagined as happening in a theatre, 
then be very sure the theatre is harmful for you, however 
harmless it may be for others; and that you are incurring 
a deadly peril in going. Be sure the safest rule is that we 
should not dare to live in any scene in which we dare not 

But, once realise what the true object is in life — that it 
is not pleasure, not knowledge, not even fame itself, "that 
last infirmity of noble minds" — but that it is the develop- 
ment of character, the rising to a higher, nobler, purer 


Standard, the building-up of the perfect Man — and then, 
so long as we feel that this is going on, and will (we trust) 
go on for evermore, death has for us no terror ; it is not a 
shadow, but a light; not an end, but a beginning! 

One other matter may perhaps seem to call for apology 
— that I should have treated with such entire want of sym- 
pathy the British passion for "Sport", which no doubt has 
been in by-gone days, and is still, in some forms of it, an 
excellent school for hardihood and for coolness in mo- 
ments of danger. But I am not entirely without sympathy 
for genuine "Sport": I can heartily admire the courage of 
the man who, with severe bodily toil, and at the risk of 
his life, hunts down some "man-eating" tiger: and I can 
heartily sympathize with him when he exults in the glo- 
rious excitement of the chase and the hand-to-hand strug- 
gle with the monster brought to bay. But I can but look 
with deep wonder and sorrow on the hunter who, at his 
ease and in safety, can find pleasure in what involves, for 
some defenceless creature, wild terror and a death of 
agony : deeper, if the hunter be one who has pledged him- 
self to preach to men the Religion of universal Love : deep- 
est of all, if it be one of those ''tender and delicate' beings, 
whose very name serves as a symbol of Love — ''thy love to 
me was wonderful, passing the love of women" — whose 
mission here is surely to help and comfort all that are in 
pain or sorrow! 

"Farewell, farewell! but this I tell 
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest! 
He prayeth well, who loveth well 
Both man and bird and beast. 

He prayeth best, who loveth best 
All things both great and small; 

For the dear God who loveth us, 
He made and loveth all,'' 


Chapter I 

Less Bread! More Taxes! 

— AND then all the people cheered again, and one man, 
who was more excited than the rest, flung his hat high in- 
to the air, and shouted (as well as I could make out) 
"Who roar for the Sub-Warden?" Everybody roared, but 
whether it was for the Sub-Warden, or not, did not clearly 
appear: some were shouting "Bread!" and some "Taxes!", 
but no one seemed to know what it was they really want- 

All this I saw from the open window of the Warden's 
breakfast-saloon, looking across the shoulder of the Lord 
Chancellor, who had sprung to his feet the moment the 
shouting began, almost as if he had been expecting it, and 
had rushed to the window which commanded the best 
view of the market-place. 

"What can it all mean?" he kept repeating to himself, 
as, with his hands clasped behind him, and his gown float- 
ing in the air, he paced rapidly up and down the room. "I 
never heard such shouting before — and at this time of the 
morning, too! And with such unanimity! Doesn't it strike 
you as very remarkable?" 

I represented, modestly, that to my ears it appeared that 
they were shouting for diflferent things, but the Chancel- 
lor would not listen to my suggestion for a moment. 
"They all shout the same words, I assure you!" he said: 
then, leaning well out of the window, he whispered to a 
man who was standing close underneath, "Keep 'em to- 
gether, ca'n't you? The Warden will be here directly. Give 



'em the signal for the march up!" All this was evidently 
not meant for my ears, but I could scarcely help hearing 
it, considering that my chin was almost on the Chancel- 
lor's shoulder. 

The "march up" was a very curious sight: a straggling 
procession of men, marching two and two, began from 
the other side of the market-place, and advanced in an ir- 
regular zig-zag fashion towards the Palace, wildly tacking 
from side to side, like a sailing vessel making way against 
an unfavourable wind — so that the head of the procession 
was often further from us at the end of one tack than it 
had been at the end of the previous one. 

Yet it was evident that all was being done under orders, 
for I noticed that all eyes were fixed on the man who stood 
just under the window, and to whom the Chancellor was 
continually whispering. This man held his hat in one 
hand and a little green flag in the other: whenever he 
waved the flag the procession advanced a little nearer^ 
when he dipped it they sidled a little farther off, and 
whenever he waved his hat they all raised a hoarse cheer. 
"Hoo-roah!" they cried, carefully keeping time with the 
hat as it bobbed up and down. "Hoo-roah! Noo! Consti! 
Tooshun! Less! Bread! More! Taxes!" 

"That'll do, that'll do!" the Chancellor whispered. "Let 
'em rest a bit till I give you the word. He's not here yet!" 
But at this moment the great folding-doors of the saloon 
were flung open, and he turned with a guilty start to re- 
ceive His High Excellency. However it was only Bruno, 
and the Chancellor gave a little gasp of relieved anxiety. 

"Morning!" said the little fellow, addressing the re- 
mark, in a general sort of way, to the Chancellor and the 
waiters. "Doos oo know where Sylvie is? I's looking for 

"She's with the Warden, I believe, y'reince!" the Chan- 

LESS bread! more taxes! 289 

cellor replied with a low bow. There was, no doubt, a cer- 
tain amount o£ absurdity in applying this title (which, as 
of course you see without my telling you, was nothing but 
*'your Royal Highness" condensed into one syllable) to a 
small creature whose father was merely the Warden of 
Outland : still, large excuse must be made for a man who 
had passed several years at the Court of Fairyland, and 
had there acquired the almost impossible art of pronounc- 
ing five syllables as one. 

But the bow was lost upon Bruno, who had run out of 
the room, even while the great feat of The Unpronounce- 
able Monosyllable was being triumphantly performed. 

Just then, a single voice in the distance was understood 
to shout "A speech from the Chancellor!" "Certainly, my 
friends!" the Chancellor replied with extraordinary 
promptitude. ''You shall have a speech!" Here one of the 
waiters, who had been for some minutes busy making a 
queer-looking mixture of egg and sherry, respectfully pre- 
sented it on a large silver salver. The Chancellor took it 
haughtily, drank it off thoughtfully, smiled benevolently 
on the happy waiter as he set down the empty glass, and 
began. To the best of my recollection this is what he said. 

"Ahem! Ahem! Ahem! Fellow-sufferers, or rather suf- 
fering fellows " ("Don't call 'em names!" muttered the 

man under the window. "I didn't say felons!'' the Chan- 
cellor explained.) "You may be sure that I always sym- 

pa " ("'Ear, 'ear!" shouted the crowd, so loudly as 

quite to drown the orator's thin squeaky voice) " — that I 

always sympa " he repeated. ("Don't simper quite so 

much!" said the man under the window. "It makes yer 
look a hidiot!" And, all this time, " 'Ear, 'ear!" went rum- 
bling round the market-place, like a peal of thunder.) 
"That I always sympathiser yelled the Chancellor, the first 
moment there was silence. "But your true friend is the Sub- 


Warden! Day and night he is brooding on your wrongs — 
I should say your rights — that is to say your wrongs — no, 

I mean your rights " ("Don't talk no more!" growled 

the man under the window. "You're making a mess o£ 
it!") At this moment the Sub-Warden entered the saloon. 
He was a thin man, with a mean and crafty face, and a 
greenish-yellow complexion; and he crossed the room 
very slowly, looking suspiciously about him as if he 
thought there might be a savage dog hidden somewhere. 
"Bravo!" he cried, patting the Chancellor on the back. 
"You did that speech very well indeed. Why, you're a 
born orator, man!" 

"Oh, that's nothing!" the Chancellor replied, modestly, 
with downcast eyes. "Most orators are born, you know." 
The Sub-Warden thoughtfully rubbed his chin. "Why, 
so they are!" he admitted. "I never considered it in that 
light. Still, you did it very well. A word in your ear!" 

The rest of their conversation was all in whispers : so, as 
I could hear no more, I thought I would go and find 

I found the little fellow standing in the passage, and be- 
ing addressed by one of the men in livery, who stood be- 
fore him, nearly bent double from extreme respectfulness, 
with his hands hanging in front of him like the fins of a 
fish. "His High Excellency," this respectful man was say- 
ing, "is in his Study, y'reince!" (He didn't pronounce this 
quite so well as the Chancellor.) Thither Bruno trotted, 
and I thought it well to follow him. 

The Warden, a tall dignified man with a grave but very 
pleasant face, was seated before a writing-table, which was 
covered with papers, and holding on his knee one of the 
sweetest and loveliest little maidens it has ever been my lot 
to see. She looked four or five years older than Bruno, but 
she had the same rosy cheeks and sparkling eyes, and the 


same wealth of curly brown hair. Her eager smiling face 
was turned upwards towards her father's, and it was a 
pretty sight to see the mutual love with which the two 
faces — one in the Spring of Life, the other in its late Au- 
tumn — were gazing on each other. 

"No, you've never seen him," the old man was saying: 
"you couldn't, you know, he's been away so long — travel- 
ing from land to land, and seeking for health, more years 
than you've been alive, little Sylvie!" 

Here Bruno climbed upon his other knee, and a good 
deal of kissing, on a rather complicated system, was the 

"He only came back last night," said the Warden, when 
the kissing was over: "he's been traveling post-haste, for 
the last thousand miles or so, in order to be here on Syl- 
vie's birthday. But he's a very early riser, and I dare say 
he's in the Library already. Come with me and see him. 
He's always kind to children. You'll be sure to like him." 

"Has the Other Professor come too?" Bruno asked in 
an awe-struck voice. 

"Yes, they arrived together. The Other Professor is — 
well, you won't like him quite so much, perhaps. He's a 
little more dreamy, you know." 

"I wiss Sylvie was a little more dreamy," said Bruno. 

"What do you mean, Bruno?" said Sly vie. 

Bruno went on addressing his father. "She says she 
cant, 00 know. But I thinks it isn't cant, it's wont!' 

"Says she cant dream!" the puzzled Warden repeated. 

"She do say it," Bruno persisted. "When I says to her 
*Let's stop lessons!', she says 'Oh, I ca'n't dream of letting 
00 stop yet!' " 

"He always wants to stop lessons," Sylvie explained, 
"five minutes after we begin!" 


"Five minutes' lessons a day!" said the Warden. "Yon 
won't learn much at that rate, little man!" 

"That's just what Sylvie says," Bruno rejoined. "She 
says I wont learn my lessons. And I tells her, over and 
over, I cant learn 'em. And what doos 00 think she says? 
She says *It isn't cant, it's wontl' " 

"Let's go and see the Professor," the Warden said, wise- 
ly avoiding further discussion. The children got down oflf 
his knees, each secured a hand, and the happy trio set off 
for the Library — followed by me. I had come to the con- 
clusion by this time that none of the party (except, for a 
few moments, the Lord Chancellor) was in the least able 
to see me. 

"What's the matter with him?" Sylvie asked, walking 
with a little extra sedateness, by way of example to Bruno 
at the other side, who never ceased jumping up and down. 

"What was the matter — but I hope he's all right now — 
was lumbago, and rheumatism, and that kind of thing. 
He's been curing himself, you know: he's a very learned 
doctor. Why, he's actually invented three new diseases, be- 
sides a new way of breaking your collar-bone!" 

"Is it a nice way?" said Bruno. 

"Well, hum, not very," the Warden said, as we entered 
the Library. "And here is the Professor. Good morning, 
Professor! Hope you're quite rested after your journey!" 

A jolly-looking, fat little man, in a flowery dressing- 
gown, with a large book under each arm, came trotting in 
at the other end of the room, and was going straight 
across without taking any notice of the children. "I'm 
looking for Vol. Three," he said. "Do you happen to have 
seen itr 

"You don't see my children. Professor!" the Warden ex- 
claimed, taking him by the shoulders and turning him 
round to face them. 

LESS bread! more taxes! 293 

The Professor laughed violently : then he gazed at them 
through his great spectacles, for a minute or two, without 

At last he addressed Bruno. "I hope you have had a 
good night, my child?" 

Bruno looked puzzled. "Fs had the same night 00 ve 
had," he replied. "There's only been one night since yes- 

It was the Professor's turn to look puzzled now. He 
took off his spectacles, and rubbed them with his handker- 
chief. Then he gazed at them again. Then he turned to 
the Warden. "Are they bound?" he enquired. 

"No, we aren't," said Bruno, who thought himself quite 
able to answer this question. 

The Professor shook his head sadly. "Not even half- 

"Why would we be half-bound?" said Bruno. "We're 
not prisoners!" 

But the Professor had forgotten all about them by this 
time, and was speaking to the Warden again. "You'll be 
glad to hear," he was saying, "that the Barometer's begin- 

ning to move " 

"Well, which way?" said the Warden — adding to the 
children, "Not that / care, you know. Only he thinks it 
affects the weather. He's a wonderfully clever man, you 
know. Sometimes he says things that only the Other Pro- 
fessor can understand. Sometimes he says things that no- 
body can understand! Which way is it. Professor? Up or 

"Neither!" said the Professor, gently clapping his hands. 
"It's going sideways — if I may so express myself." 

"And what kind of weather does that produce?" said 
the Warden. "Listen children! Now you'll hear some- 
thing worth knowing!" 


"Horizontal weather," said the Professor, and made 
straight for the door, very nearly trampling on Bruno, 
who had only just time to get out of his way. 

''Isn't he learned?" the Warden said, looking after him 
with admiring eyes. "Positively he runs over with learn- 

"But he needn't run over mer said Bruno. 

The Professor was back in a moment : he had changed 
his dressing-gown for a frock-coat, and had put on a pair 
of very strange-looking boots, the tops of which were open 
umbrellas. "I thought you'd like to see them," he said. 
''These are the boots for horizontal weather!" 

"But what's the use of wearing umbrellas round one's 

"In ordinary rain," the Professor admitted, "they would 
not be of much use. But if ever it rained horizontally, you 
know, they would be invaluable — simply invaluable!" 

"Take the Professor to the breakfast-saloon, children," 
said the Warden. "And tell them not to wait for me. I had 
breakfast early, as I've some business to attend to." The 
children seized the Professor's hands, as familiarly as if 
they had known him for years, and hurried him away. I 
followed respectfully behind. 

Chapter II 

L'Amie Inconnue 

As we entered the breakfast saloon, the Professor was say- 
ing " — and he had breakfast by himself, early: so he beg- 
ged you wouldn't wait for him, my Lady. This way, my 
Lady," he added, "this way!" And then, with (as it seem- 

l'amie inconnue 295 

ed to me) most superfluous politeness, he flung open the 
door of my compartment, and ushered in " — a young and 
lovely lady!" I muttered to myself with some bitterness. 
"And this is, of course, the opening scene of Vol. I. She is 
the Heroine. And / am one of those subordinate charac- 
ters that only turn up when needed for the development 
of her destiny, and whose final appearance is outside the 
church, waiting to greet the Happy Pair!" 

"Yes, my lady, change at Fayfield," were the next words 
I heard (oh that too obsequious Guard!), "next station 
but one." And the door closed, and the lady settled down 
into her corner, and the monotonous throb of the engine 
(making one feel as if the train were some gigantic mon- 
ster, whose very circulation we could feel) proclaimed 
that we were once more speeding on our way. "The lady 
had a perfectly formed nose," I caught myself saying to 

myself, "hazel eyes, and lips " and here it occurred to 

me that to see, for myself, what "the lady" was really like, 
would be more satisfactory than much speculation. 

I looked round cautiously, and — was entirely disap- 
pointed of my hope. The veil, which shrouded her whole 
face, was too thick for me to see more than the glitter of 
bright eyes and the hazy outline of what might be a love- 
ly oval face, but might also, unfortunately, be an equally 
MtiXovtly one. I closed my eyes again, saying to myself 
" — couldn't have a better chance for an experiment in 
Telepathy! Ill thin\ out her face, and afterwards test the 
portrait with the original." 

At first, no result at all crowned my eflforts, though I 
"divided my swift mind," now hither, now thither, in a 
way that I felt sure would have made iEneas green with 
envy: but the dimly-seen oval remained as provokingly 
blank as ever — a mere Ellipse, as if in some mathematical 
diagram, without even the Foci that might be made to do 


duty as a nose and a mouth. Gradually, however, the con- 
viction came upon me that I could, by a certain concentra- 
tion of thought, thin\ the veil away, and so get a glimpse 
of the mysterious face — as to which the two questions, "is 
she pretty?" and "is she plain?", still hung suspended, in 
my mind, in beautiful equipoise. 

Success was partial — and fitful — still there was a result : 
ever and anon, the veil seemed to vanish, in a sudden flash 
of light : but, before I could fully realise the face, all was 
dark again. In each such glimpse, the face seemed to grow 
more childish and more innocent : and, when I had at last 
thought the veil entirely away, it was, unmistakeably, the 
sweet face of little Sylvie! 

"So, either I've been dreaming about Sylvie," I said to 
myself, "and this is the reality. Or else Fve really been 
with Sylvie, and this is a dream! Is Life itself a dream, I 

To occupy the time, I got out the letter which had 
caused me to take this sudden railway-journey from my 
London home down to a strange fishing-town on the 
North coast, and read it over again : — 

"Dear old Friend, 

''Vm sure it will be as great a pleasure to me, as it can 
possibly be to you, to meet once more after so many years: 
and of course I shall be ready to give you all the benefit of 
such medical sJ{ill as I have: only, you /{now, one mustn't 
violate professional etiquette! And you are already in the 
hands of a first-rate London doctor, with whom it would be 
utter affectation for me to pretend to compete, (/ ma\e no 
doubt he is right in saying the heart is affected: all your 
symptoms point that way.) One thing, at any rate, I have al- 
ready done in my doctorial capacity — secured you a bedroom 
on the ground'fioor , so that you will not need to ascend the 
stairs at all. 

*'l shall expect you by last train on Friday, in accordance 


with your letter: and, till then, I shall say, in the words of 
the old song, 'Oh for Friday nichtl Friday's lang a-comingl' 

"Yours always, 

"Arthui^ jForester. 
"P.iS. Do you believe in Fate?" 

This Postscript puzzled me sorely. "He Is far too sens- 
ible a man/' I thought, "to have become a Fatalist. And 
yet what else can he mean by it?" And, as I folded up the 
letter and put it away, I inadvertently repeated the words 
aloud. "Do you believe in Fate?" 

The fair "Incognita" turned her head quickly at the 
sudden question. "No, I don't!" she said with a smile. "Do 

"I — I didn't mean to ask the question!" I stammered, a 
little taken aback at having begun a conversation in so un- 
conventional a fashion. 

The lady's smile became a laugh — not a mocking laugh, 
but the laugh of a happy child who is perfectly at her ease. 
"Didn't you?" she said. "Then it was a case of what you 
Doctors call 'unconscious cerebration'?" 

"I am no Doctor," I replied. "Do I look so like one? Or 
what makes you think it?" 

She pointed to the book I had been reading, which was 
so lying that its title, "Diseases of the Heart," was plainly 

"One needn't be a Doctor^' I said, "to take an interest in 
medical books. There's another class of readers, who are 
yet more deeply interested " 

"You mean the Patients?'' she interrupted, while a look 
of tender pity gave new sweetness to her face. "But," with 
an evident wish to avoid a possibly painful topic, "one 
needn't be either, to take an interest in books of Science, 
Which contain the greatest amount of Science, do you 
think, the books, or the minds?" 


"Rather a profound question for a lady!" I said to my- 
self, holding, with the conceit so natural to Man, that Wo- 
man's intellect is essentially shallow. And I considered a 
minute before replying. "If you mean living minds, I 
don't think it's possible to decide. There is so much writ- 
ten Science that no living person has ever read: and there 
is so much thought-out Science that hasn't yet been writ- 
ten. But, if you mean the whole human race, then I think 
the minds have it: everything, recorded in boo\s, must 
have once been in some mind, you know." 

"Isn't that rather like one of the Rules in Algebra?" my 
Lady enquired. (^'Algebra too!" I thought with increasing 
wonder.) "I mean, if we consider thoughts as factors, may 
we not say that the Least Common Multiple of all the 
minds contains that of all the books; but not the other 
way r 

"Certainly we may!" I replied, delighted with the illus- 
tration. "And what a grand thing it would be," I went on 
dreamily, thinking aloud rather than talking, "if we could 
only apply that Rule to books! You know, in finding the 
Least Common Multiple, we strike out a quantity wher- 
ever it occurs, except in the term where it is raised to its 
highest power. So we should have to erase every recorded 
thought, except in the sentence where it is expressed with 
the greatest intensity." 

My Lady laughed merrily. ''Some books would be re- 
duced to blank paper, I'm afraid!" she said. 

"They would. Most libraries would be terribly dimin- 
ished in bul\. But just think what they would gain in 

"When will it be done?" she eagerly asked. "If there's 
any chance of it in my time, I think I'll leave oflF reading, 
and wait for it!" 


"Well, perhaps in another thousand years or so " 

"Then there's no use waiting!" said my Lady. "Let's sit 
down. Uggug, my pet, come and sit by me!" 

"Anywhere but by mel" growled the Sub- Warden. 
"The little wretch always manages to upset his coffee!" 

I guessed at once (as perhaps the reader will also have 
guessed, if, like myself, he is very clever at drawing con- 
clusions) that my Lady was the Sub-Warden's wife, and 
that Uggug (a hideous fat boy, about the same age as Syl- 
vie, with the expression of a prize-pig) was their son. Syl- 
vie and Bruno, with the Lord Chancellor, made up a party 
of seven. 

"And you actually got a plunge-bath every morning?" 
said the Sub-Warden, seemingly in continuation of a con- 
versation with the Professor. "Even at the little roadside- 
inns r 

"Oh, certainly, certainly!" the Professor replied with a 
smile on his jolly face. "Allow me to explain. It is, in fact, 
a very simple problem in Hydrodynamics. (That means a 
combination of Water and Strength.) I£ we take a plunge- 
bath, and a man of great strength (such as myself) about 
to plunge into it, we have a perfect example of this science. 
I am bound to admit," the Professor continued, in a lower 
tone and with downcast eyes, "that we need a man of 
remar\able strength. He must be able to spring from the 
floor to about twice his own height, gradually turning 
over as he rises, so as to come down again head first." 

"Why, you need a flea, not-a manl" exclaimed the Sub- 

"Pardon me," said the Professor. "This particular kind 
of bath is not adapted for a flea. Let us suppose," he con- 
tinued, folding his table-napkin into a graceful festoon, 
"that this represents what is perhaps the necessity of this 


Age — the Active Tourist's Portable Bath. You may des- 
cribe it briefly, if you like/' looking at the Chancellor, "by 
the letters A. T. P. B." 

The Chancellor, much disconcerted at finding every- 
body looking at him, could only murmur, in a shy whis- 
per, "Precisely so!" 

"One great advantage of this plunge-bath," continued 
the Professor, "is that it requires only half-a-gallon of wa- 
ter " 

"I don't call it a plunge-hsiXh,'' His Sub-Excellency re- 
marked, "unless your Active Tourist goes right under!'' 

"But he does go right under," the old man gently re- 
plied. "The A. T. hangs up the P. B. on a nail — thus. He 
then empties the water-jug into it — places the empty jug 
below the bag — leaps into the air — descends head-first in- 
to the bag — the water rises round him to the top of the 
bag — and there you are!" he triumphantly concluded. 
"The A. T. is as much under water as if he'd gone a mile 
or two down into the Atlantic!" 

"And he's drowned, let us say, in about four min- 
utes " 

"By no means!" the Professor answered with a proud 
smile. "After about a minute, he quietly turns a tap at the 
lower end of the P. B. — all the water runs back into the 
jug — and there you are again!" 

"But how in the world is he to get out of the bag 
agam r 

''That, I take it," said the*Professor, "is the most beauti- 
ful part of the whole invention. All the way up the P. B., 
inside, are loops for the thumbs; so it's something like go- 
ing up-stairs, only perhaps less comfortable; and, by the 
time the A. T. has risen out of the bag, all but his head, 
he's sure to topple over, one way or the other — the Law of 


Gravity secures that. And there he is on the floor again!" 

"A little bruised, perhaps?" 

"Well, yes, a little bruised; but having had his plunge- 
bath: that's the great thing." 

"Wonderful! It's almost beyond belief!" murmured the 
Sub- Warden. The Professor took it as a compliment, and 
bowed with a gratified smile. 

''Quite beyond belief!" my Lady added — meaning, no 
doubt, to be more complimentary still. The Professor bow-- 
ed, but he didn't smile this time. 

"I can assure you," he said earnestly, "that, provided the 
bath was made, I used it every morning. I certainly or- 
dered it — that I am clear about — my only doubt is, whe- 
ther the man ever finished making it. It's difficult to re- 
member, after so many years " 

At this moment the door, very slowly and creakingly, 
began to open, and Sylvie and Bruno jumped up, and ran 
to meet the well-known footstep. 

Chapter III 


"It's my brother!" the Sub- War den exclaimed, in a warn- 
ing whisper. "Speak out and be quick about it!" 

The appeal was evidently addressed to the Lord Chan- 
cellor, who instantly replied, in a shrill monotone, like a 
little boy repeating the alphabet, "As I was remarking, 
your Sub-Excellency, this portentous movement " 

"You began too soon!" the other interrupted, scarcely 
able to restrain himself to a whisper, so great was his ex- 
citement. "He couldn't have heard you. Begin again!" 


"As I was remarking," chanted the obedient Lord Chan- 
cellor, "this portentous movement has already assumed 
the dimensions of a Revolution!" 

"And what are the dimensions of a Revolution?" The 
voice was genial and mellow, and the face of the tall dig- 
nified old man, who had just entered the room, leading 
Sylvie by the hand, and with Bruno riding triumphantly 
on his shoulder, was too noble and gentle to have scared a 
less guilty man : but the Lord Chancellor turned pale in- 
stantly, and could hardly articulate the words "The di- 
mensions — your — your High Excellency? I — I — scarcely 

"Well, the length, breadth, and thickness, if you like it 
better!" And the old man smiled, half-contemptuously. 

The Lord Chancellor recovered himself with a great 
effort, and pointed to the open window. "If your High 
Excellency will listen for a moment to the shouts of the ex- 
asperated populace " ("of the exasperated populace!" 

the Sub-Warden repeated in a louder tone, as the Lord 
Chancellor, being in a state of abject terror, had dropped 
almost into a whisper) " — you will understand what it is 
they want." 

And at that moment there surged into the room a 
hoarse confused cry, in which the only clearly audible 
words were "Less — bread — More — taxes!" The old man 
laughed heartily. "What in the world " he was begin- 
ning: but the Chancellor heard him not. "Some mistake!" 
he muttered, hurrying to the window, from which he 
shortly returned with an air of relief. "Now listen!" he ex- 
claimed, holding up his hand impressively. And now the 
words came quite distinctly, and with the regularity of the 
ticking of a clock, "More — bread — Less — taxes!" 

"More bread!" the Warden repeated in astonishment. 
"Why, the new Government Bakery was opened only last 


week, and I gave orders to sell the bread at cost-price dur- 
ing the present scarcity! What can they expect more?" 

"The Bakery's closed, y'reince!" the Chancellor said, 
more loudly and clearly than he had spoken yet. He was 
emboldened by the consciousness that here, at least, he 
had evidence to produce: and he placed in the Warden's 
hands a few printed notices, that were lying ready, with 
some open ledgers, on a side-table. 

"Yes, yes, / see!" the Warden muttered, glancing care- 
lessly through them. "Order countermanded by my bro- 
ther, and supposed to be my doing! Rather sharp practice! 
It's all right!" he added in a louder tone. "My name is 
signed to it : so I take it on myself. But what do you mean 
by 'Less Taxes'? How can they be less? I abolished the 
last of them a month ago!" 

"It's been put on again, y'reince, and by y'reince's own 
orders!", and other printed notices were submitted for 

The Warden, whilst looking them over, glanced once 
or twice at the Sub-Warden, who had seated himself be- 
fore one of the open ledgers, and was quite absorbed in 
adding it up; but he merely repeated "It's all right. I ac- 
cept it as my doing." 

"And they do say," the Chancellor went on sheepishly — 
looking much more like a convicted thief than an Officer 
of State, "that a change of Government, by the abolition 
of the Sub-Warden — I mean," he hastily added, on seeing 
the Warden's look of astonishment, "the abolition of the 
office of Sub-Warden, and giving the present holder the 
right to act as F/V^-Warden whenever the Warden is ab- 
sent — would appease all this seedling discontent. I mean," 
he added, glancing at a paper he held in his hand, "all this 
seething discontent!" 

"For fifteen years," put in a deep but very harsh voice, 


"my husband has been acting as Sub-Warden. It is too 
long! It is much too long!" My Lady was a vast creature at 
all times : but, when she frowned and folded her arms, as 
now, she looked more gigantic than ever, and made one 
try to fancy what a haystack would look like, if out of 

"He would distinguish himself as a Vice!" my Lady 
proceeded, being far too stupid to see the double meaning 
of her words. "There has been no such Vice in Outland 
for many a long year, as he would be!" 

"What course would you suggest. Sister?" the Warden 
mildly enquired. 

My Lady stamped, which was undignified : and snorted, 
which was ungraceful. "This is no jesting matter!" she 

"I will consult my brother," said the Warden. "Bro- 

" and seven makes a hundred and ninety-four, which 

is sixteen and twopence," the Sub-Warden replied. "Put 
down two and carry sixteen." 

The Chancellor raised his hands and eyebrows, lost in 
admiration. ^'Such a man of business!" he murmured. 

"Brother, could I have a word with you in my Study?" 
the Warden said in a louder tone. The Sub-Warden rose 
with alacrity, and the two left the room together. 

My Lady turned to the Professor, who had uncovered 
the urn, and was taking its temperature with his pocket- 
thermometer. "Professor!" she began, so loudly and sud- 
denly that even Uggug, who had gone to sleep in his 
chair, left off snoring and opened one eye. The Professor 
pocketed his thermometer in a moment, clasped his hands, 
and put his head on one side with a meek smile. 

"You were teaching my son before breakfast, I believe?" 


my Lady loftily remarked. "I hope he strikes you as hav- 
ing talent?" 

"Oh, very much so indeed, my Lady!" the Professor 
hastily replied, unconsciously rubbing his ear, while some 
painful recollection seemed to cross his mind. "I was very 
forcibly struck by His Magnificence, I assure you!" 

"He is a charming boy!" my Lady exclaimed. "Even 
his snores are more musical than those of other boys!" 

If that were so, the Professor seemed to think, the snores 
of other boys must be something too awful to be endured : 
but he was a cautious man, and he said nothing. 

"And he's so clever!" my Lady continued "No one will 
enjoy your Lecture more — by the way, have you fixed the 
time for it yet.^ You've never given one, you know: and it 
was promised years ago, before you " 

"Yes, yes, my Lady, / know! Perhaps next Tuesday — or 
Tuesday week " 

"That will do very well," said my Lady, graciously. "Of 
course you will let the Other Professor lecture as well?" 

"I think not, my Lady," the Professor said with some 
hesitation. "You see, he always stands with his back to the 
audience. It does very well for reciting; but for lectur- 

"You are quite right," said my Lady. "And, now I come 
to think of it, there would hardly be time for more than 
one Lecture. And it will go off all the better, if we begin 
with a Banquet, and a Fancy-dress Ball " 

"It will indeed!" the Professor cried, with enthusiasm. 

"I shall come as a Grass-hopper," my Lady calmly pro- 
ceeded. "What shall you come as. Professor?" 

The Professor smiled feebly. "I shall come as — as early 
as I can, my Lady!" 

"You mustn't come in before the doors are opened," 
said my Lady. 


"I ca'n't," said the Professor. "Excuse me a moment. As 

this is Lady Sylvie's birthday, I would Hke to " and he 

rushed away. 

Bruno began feeHng in his pockets, looking more and 
more melancholy as he did so : then he put his thumb in 
his mouth, and considered for a minute: then he quietly 
left the room. 

He had hardly done so before the Professor was back 
again, quite out of breath. "Wishing you many happy re- 
turns of the day, my dear child!" he went on, addressing 
the smiling little girl, who had run to meet him. "Allow 
me to give you a birthday-present. It's a second-hand pin- 
cushion, my dear. And it only cost fourpence-half penny ! " 

"Thank you, it's very pretty!" And Sylvie rewarded the 
old man with a hearty kiss. 

"And the pins they gave me for nothing!" the Professor 
added in high glee. "Fifteen of em, and only one bent!" 

"I'll make the bent one into a hoo\r said Sylvie. "To 
catch Bruno with, when he runs away from his lessons!" 

"You can't guess what my present is!" said Uggug, who 
had taken the butter-dish from the table, and was stand- 
ing behind her, with a wicked leer on his face. 

"No, I can't guess," Sylvie said without looking up. She 
was still examining the Professor's pincushion. 

"It's this!" cried the bad boy, exultingly, as he emptied 
the dish over her, and then, with a grin of delight at his 
own cleverness, looked round for applause. 

Sylvie coloured crimson, as she shook off the butter 
from her frock : but she kept her lips tight shut, and walk- 
ed away to the window, where she stood looking out and 
trying to recover her temper. 

Uggug's triumph was a very short one: the Sub-War- 
den had returned, just in time to be a witness of his dear 
child's playfulness, and in another moment a skilfully- 


applied box on the ear had changed the grin of dehght in- 
to a howl of pain. 

"My darling!" cried his mother, enfolding him in her 
fat arms. "Did they box his ears for nothing? A precious 

"It's not for nothing!'' growled the angry father. "Are 
you aware, Madam, that / pay the house-bills, out of a 
fixed annual sum ? The loss of all that wasted butter falls 
on me! Do you hear. Madam!" 

"Hold your tongue. Sir!" My Lady spoke very quietly 
— almost in a whisper. But there was something in her 
loof{ which silenced him. "Don't you see it was only a 
jof{e? And a very clever one, too! He only meant that he 
loved nobody but her! And, instead of being pleased with 
the compliment, the spiteful little thing has gone away in 
a huff!" 

The Sub-Warden was a very good hand at changing a 
subject. He walked across to the window. "My dear," he 
said, "is that a pig that I see down below, rooting about 
among your flower-beds?" 

"A pig!'' shrieked my Lady, rushing madly to the win- 
dow, and almost pushing her husband out, in her anxiety 
to see for herself. "Whose pig is it? How did it get in.^ 
Where's that crazy Gardener gone?" 

At this moment Bruno re-entered the room, and passing 
Uggug (who was blubbering his loudest, in the hope of 
attracting notice) as if he was quite used to that sort of 
thing, he ran up to Sylvie and threw his arms round her. 
"I went to my toy-cupboard," he said with a very sorrow- 
ful face, "to see if there were somefin fit for a present for 
00! And there isn't nuffin! They's all broken^ every one! 
And I haven't got no money left, to buy 00 a birthday- 
present! And I ca'n't give 00 nuffin but this!'' (''This" was 
a very earnest hug and a kiss.) 


"Oh, thank you, darUng!" cried Sylvie. "I Hke your 
present best of all!" (But if so, why did she give it back so 
quickly ? ) 

His Sub-Excellency turned and patted the two children 
on the head with his long lean hands. "Go away, dears!" 
he said. "There's business to talk over." 

Sylvie and Bruno went away hand in hand: but, on 
reaching the door, Sylvie came back again and went up to 
Uggug timidly. "I don't mind about the butter," she said, 
"and I — I'm sorry he hurt you!" And she tried to shake 
hands with the little ruffian: but Uggug only blubbered 
louder, and wouldn't make friends. Sylvie left the room 
with a sigh. 

The Sub-Warden glared angrily at his weeping son. 
"Leave the room. Sirrah!" he said, as loud as he dared. 
His wife was still leaning out of the window, and kept re- 
peating "I cant see that pig! Where is it?" 

"It's moved to the right — now it's gone a little to the 
left," said the Sub-Warden: but he had his back to the 
window, and was making signals to the Lord Chancellor, 
pointing to Uggug and the door, with many a cunning 
nod and wink. 

The Chancellor caught his meaning at last, and cross- 
ing the room, took that interesting child by the ear — the 
next moment he and Uggug were out of the room, and 
the door shut behind them: but not before one piercing 
yell had rung through the room, and reached the ears of 
the fond mother. 

"What is that hideous noise?" she fiercely asked, turn- 
ing upon her startled husband. 

"It's some hyaena — or other," replied the Sub-Warden, 
looking vaguely up to the ceiling, as if that was where 
they usually were to be found. "Let us to business, my 
dear. Here comes the Warden." And he picked up from 


the floor a wandering scrap of manuscript, on which I just 
caught the words "after which Election duly holden the 
said Sibimet and Tabikat his wife may at their pleasure 
assume Imperial " before, with a guilty look, he crum- 
pled it up in his hand. 

Chapter IV 
A Cunning Conspiracy 

The Warden entered at this moment: and close behind 
him came the Lord Chancellor, a little flushed and out of 
breath, and adjusting his wig, which appeared to have 
been dragged partly off his head. 

"But where is my precious child?" my Lady enquired,, 
as the four took their seats at the small side-table devoted 
to ledgers and bundles and bills. 

"He left the room a few minutes ago— ^with the Lord 
Chancellor," the Sub-Warden briefly explained. 

"Ah!" said my Lady, graciously smiling on that high 
official. "Your Lordship has a very ta\ing way with chil- 
dren! I doubt if any one could gain the ear of my darling 
Uggug so quickly as you can!" For an entirely stupid wo- 
man, my Lady's remarks were curiously full of meaning, 
of which she herself was wholly unconscious. 

The Chancellor bowed, but with a very uneasy air. "I 
think the Warden was about to speak," he remarked, evi- 
dently anxious to change the subject. 

But my Lady would not be checked. "He is a clever 
boy," she continued with enthusiasm, "but he needs a 
man like your Lordship to draw him out!'' 

The Chancellor bit his lip, and was silent. He evidently 


feared that, stupid as she looked, she understood what she 
said this time, and was having a joke at his expense. He 
might have spared himself all anxiety : whatever acciden- 
tal meaning her words might have, she herself never 
meant anything at all. 

"It is all settled!" the Warden announced, wasting no 
time over preliminaries. "The Sub-Wardenship is abolish- 
ed, and my brother is appointed to act as Vice- Warden 
whenever I am absent. So, as I am going abroad for a 
while, he will enter on his new duties at once." 

"And there will really be a Vice after all?" my Lady 

"I hope so!" the Warden smilingly replied. 

My Lady looked much pleased, and tried to clap her 
hands : but you might as well have knocked two feather- 
beds together, for any noise it made. "When my husband 
is Vice," she said, "it will be the same as if we had a hun- 
dred Vices!" 

"Hear, hear!" cried the Sub-Warden. 

"You seem to think it very remarkable," my Lady re- 
marked with some severity, "that your wife should speak 
the truth!" 

"No, not remar\able at all!" her husband anxiously ex- 
plained. ''Nothing is remarkable that you say, sweet one!" 

My Lady smiled approval of the sentiment, and went 
on. "And am I Vice-Wardeness ? " 

"If you choose to use that title," said the Warden: "but 
'Your Excellency' will be the proper style of address. And 
I trust that both 'His Excellency' and 'Her Excellency' 
will observe the Agreement I have drawn up. The provi- 
sion I am most anxious about is this." He unrolled a large 
parchment scroll, and read aloud the words " 'item, that 
we will be kind to the poor.' The Chancellor worded it for 


me/' he added, glancing at that great Functionary. "I sup- 
pose, now, that word 'item' has some deep legal mean- 

"Undoubtedly!" replied the Chancellor, as articulately 
as he could with a pen between his lips. He was nervously 
rolling and unrolling several other scrolls, and making 
room among them for the one the Warden had just hand- 
ed to him. "These are merely the rough copies," he ex- 
plained: "and, as soon as I have put in the final correc- 
tions — " making a great commotion among the different 
parchments, " — a semi-colon or two that I have acciden- 
tally omitted — " here he darted about, pen in hand, from 
one part of the scroll to another, spreading sheets of blot- 
ting-paper over his corrections, "all will be ready for sign- 

"Should it not be read out, first?" my Lady enquired. 

"No need, no need!" the Sub-Warden and the Chan- 
cellor exclaimed at the same moment, with feverish eager- 

"No need at all," the Warden gently assented. "Your 
husband and I have gone through it together. It provides 
that he shall exercise the full authority of Warden, and 
shall have the disposal of the annual revenue attached to 
the office, until my return, or, failing that, until Bruno 
comes of age : and that he shall then hand over, to myself 
or to Bruno as the case may be, the Wardenship, the un- 
spent revenue, and the contents of the Treasury, which are 
to be preserved, intact, under his guardianship." 

All this time the Sub-Warden was busy, with the Chan- 
cellor's help, shifting the papers from side to side, and 
pointing out to the Warden the place where he was to 
sign. He then signed it himself, and my Lady and the 
Chancellor added their names as witnesses. 

"Short partings are best," said the Warden. "All is ready 


for my journey. My children are waiting below to see me 
off." He gravely kissed my Lady, shook hands with his 
brother and the Chancellor, and left the room. 

The three waited in silence till the sound of wheels an- 
nounced that the Warden was out of hearing: then, to my 
surprise, they broke into peals of uncontrollable laughter. 

"What a game, oh, what a game!" cried the Chancellor. 
And he and the Vice-Warden joined hands, and skipped 
wildly about the room. My Lady was too dignified to skip, 
but she laughed like the neighing of a horse, and waved 
her handkerchief above her head : it was clear to her very 
limited understanding that something very clever had 
been done, but what it was she had yet to learn. 

"You said I should hear all about it when the Warden 
had gone," she remarked, as soon as she could make her- 
self heard. 

"And so you shall, Tabby!" her husband graciously 
replied, as he removed the blotting paper, and showed the 
two parchments lying side by side. "This is the one he 
read but didn't sign : and this is the one he signed but did- 
n't read! You see it was all covered up, except the place for 
signing the names — " 

"Yes, yes!" my Lady interrupted eagerly, and began 
comparing the two Agreements. " 'Item, that he shall ex- 
ercise the authority of Warden, in the Warden's absence.' 
Why, that's been changed into 'shall be absolute governor 
for life, with the title of Emperor, if elected to that office 
by the people.' What! Are you Emperor, darling?" 

"Not yet, dear," the Vice-Warden replied. "It won't do 
to let this paper be seen, just at present. All in good time." 

My Lady nodded, and read on. " 'Item, that we will be 
kind to the poor.' Why, that's omitted altogether!" 

"Course it Is!" said her husband. ''Were not going to 
bother about the wretches!" 


''Good," said my Lady, with emphasis, and read on 
again. " 'Item, that the contents of the Treasury be pre- 
served intact.' Why, that's altered into 'shall be at the ab- 
solute disposal of the Vice-Warden'! Well, Sibby, that 
was a clever trick! All the Jevs/els, only think! May I go 
and put them on directly?" 

"Well, not just yet, Lovey," her husband uneasily re- 
plied "You see the public mind isn't quite ripe for it yet. 
We must feel our w^ay. Of course we'll have the coach- 
and-four out, at once. And I'll take the title of Emperor, 
as soon as we can safely hold an Election. But they'll hard- 
ly stand our using the Jewels, as long as they know the 
Warden's alive. We must spread a report of his death. 
A little Conspiracy — " 

"A Conspiracy!" cried the delighted lady, clapping her 
hands. "Of all things, I do like a Conspiracy! It's so inter- 

The Vice-Warden and the Chancellor interchanged a 
wink or two. "Let her conspire to her heart's content!" the 
cunning Chancellor whispered. "It'll do no harm!" 

"And when will the Conspiracy — " 

"Hist!" her husband hastily interrupted her, as the door 
opened, and Sylvie and Bruno came in, with their arms 
twined lovingly round each other — Bruno sobbing con- 
vulsively, with his face hidden on his sister's shoulder, and 
Sylvie more grave and quiet, but with tears streaming 
down her cheeks. 

"Mustn't cry like that!" the Vice-Warden said sharply, 
but without any effect on the weeping children. "Cheer 
'em up a bit!" he hinted to my Lady. 

"CakeT my Lady muttered to herself with great do 
cision, crossing the room and opening a cupboard, from 
which she presently returned with two slices of plum-cake, 
"Eat, and don't cry!" were her short and simple orders: 


and the poor children sat down side by side, but seemed in 
no mood for eating. 

For the second time the door opened — or rather was 
burst open, this time, as Uggug rushed violently into the 
room, shouting "that old Beggar's come again!" 

"He's not to have any food — " the Vice- Warden was be- 
ginning, but the Chancellor interrupted him. "It's all 
right," he said, in a low voice: "the servants have their 

"He's just under here," said Uggug, who had gone to 
the window, and was looking down into the court-yard. 

"Where, my darling?" said his fond mother, flinging 
her arms round the neck of the little monster. All of us 
(except Sylvie and Bruno, who took no notice of what 
was going on) followed her to the window. The old Beg- 
gar looked up at us with hungry eyes. "Only a crust of 
bread your Highness!" he pleaded. He was a fine old 
man, but looked sadly ill and worn. "A crust of bread is 
what I crave!" he repeated. "A single crust and a little 

"Here's some water, drink this!" Uggug bellowed, emp- 
tying a jug of water over his head. 

"Well done, my boy!" cried the Vice-Warden. "That's 
the way to settle such folk!" 

"Clever boy!" the Wardeness chimed in. ''Hasn't he 
good spirits?" 

"Take a stick to him!" shouted the Vice- Warden, as the 
old Beggar shook the water from his ragged cloak, and 
again gazed meekly upwards. 

"Take a red-hot poker to him!" my Lady again chimed 

Possibly there was no red-hot poker handy: but some 
.sticks were forthcoming in a moment, and threatening 
faces surrounded the poor old wanderer, who waved them 


back with quiet dignity. "No need to break my old 
bones/' he said. '1 am going. Not even a crust!" 

"Poor, poor old man!" exclaimed a little voice at my 
side, half choked with sobs. Bruno was at the window, 
trying to throw out his slice of plum-cake, but Sylvie held 
him back. 

"He shall have my cake!" Bruno cried, passionately 
struggling out of Sylvie's arms. 

"Yes, yes, darling!" Sylvie gently pleaded. "But don't 
throw it out! He's gone away, don't you see? Let's go af- 
ter him." And she led him out of the room, unnoticed by 
the rest of the party, who were wholly absorbed in watch- 
ing the old Beggar. 

The Conspirators returned to their seats, and continued 
their conversation in an undertone, so as not to be heard 
by Uggug, who was still standing at the window. 

"By the way, there was something about Bruno succeed- 
ing to the Wardenship," said my Lady. "How does that 
stand in the new Agreement?" 

The Chancellor chuckled. "Just the same, word for 
word," he said, "with one exception, my Lady. Instead of 
'Bruno,' I've taken the liberty to put in — " he dropped his 
voice to a whisper, " — to put in 'Uggug,' you know!" 

"Uggug, indeed!" I exclaimed, in a burst of indignation 
I could no longer control. To bring out even that one 
word seemed a gigantic effort: but, the cry once uttered, 
all effort ceased at once: a sudden gust swept away the 
whole scene, and I found myself sitting up, staring at the 
young lady in the opposite corner of the carriage, who had 
now thrown back her veil, and was looking at me with 
an expression of amused surprise. 

Chapter V 
A Beggar's Palace 

That I had said something, in the act of waking, I felt 
sure: the hoarse stifled cry was still ringing in my ears, 
even if the startled look of my fellow-traveler had not 
been evidence enough: but what could I possibly say by 
way of apology ? 

"I hope I didn't frighten you?" I stammered out at last. 
"I have no idea what I said. I was dreaming." 

"You said 'Uggug indeed!' " the young lady replied, 
with quivering lips that would curve themselves into a 
smile, in spite of all her efforts to look grave. "At least — 
you didn't say it — you shouted it!" 

"I'm very sorry," was all I could say, feeling very peni- 
tent and helpless. "She has Sylvie's eyes!" I thought to my- 
self, half-doubting whether, even now, I were fairly 
awake. "And that sweet look of innocent wonder is all 
Sylvie's, too. But Sylvie hasnt got that calm resolute 
mouth — nor that far-away look of dreamy sadness, like 
one that has had some deep sorrow, very long ago — " And 
the thick-coming fancies almost prevented my hearing the 
lady's next words. 

"If you had had a 'Shilling Dreadful' in your hand," she 
proceeded, "something about Ghosts — or Dynamite — or 
Midnight Murder — one could understand it : those things 
aren't worth the shilling, unless they give one a Night- 
mare. But really — with only a medical treatise, you know 
— " and she glanced, with a pretty shrug of contempt, at 
the book over which I had fallen asleep. 

Her friendliness, and utter unre^^erve, took me aback 
for a moment; yet there was no touch of forwardness, or 
boldness, about the child — for child, almost, she seemed to 
be: I guessed her at scarcely over twenty — all was the in- 



nocent frankness of some angelic visitant, new to the ways 
of earth and the conventionaHsms — or, if you will, the bar- 
barisms — of Society. "Even so," I mused, "will Sylvie look 
and speak, in another ten years." 

"You don't care for Ghosts, then," I ventured to sug- 
gest, "unless they are really terrifying?" 

"Quite so," the lady assented. "The regular Railway- 
Ghosts — I mean the Ghosts of ordinary Railway-literature 
— are very poor affairs. I feel inclined to say, with Alexan- 
der Selkirk, 'Their tameness is shocking to me'! And they 
never do any Midnight Murders. They couldn't 'welter in 
gore,' to save their lives!" 

" 'Weltering in gore' is a very expressive phrase, cer- 
tainly. Can it be done in any fluid, I wonder?" 

"I think not'' the lady readily replied — quite as if she 
had thought it out, long ago. "It has to be something 
thic\. For instance, you might welter in bread-sauce. 
That, being white, would be more suitable for a Ghost,, 
supposing it wished to welter!" 

"You have a real good terrifying Ghost in that book?" 
I hinted. 

"How could you guess?" she exclaimed with the most 
engaging frankness, and placed the volume in my hands. 
I opened it eagerly, with a not unpleasant thrill (like what 
a good ghost-story gives one) at the "uncanny" coinci- 
dence of my having so unexpectedly divined the subject of 
her studies. 

It was a book of Domestic Cookery, open at the article 
"Bread Sauce." 

I returned the book, looking, I suppose, a little blank, 
as the lady laughed merrily at my discomfiture. "It's far 
more exciting than some of the modern ghosts, I assure 
you! Now there was a Ghost last month — I don't mean 
a real Ghost in — in Supernature — but in a Magazine. It 


was a perfectly flavourless Ghost. It wouldn't have fright- 
ened a mouse! It wasn't a Ghost that one would even 
offer a chair to!" 

"Three score years and ten, baldness, and spectacles, 
have their advantages after all!" I said to myself. "Instead 
of a bashful youth and maiden, gasping out monosyllables 
at awful intervals, here we have an old man and a child, 
quite at their ease, talking as if they had known each 
other for years! Then you think," I continued aloud, "that 
we ought sometimes to ask a Ghost to sit down? But 
have we any authority for it? In Shakespeare, for in- 
stance — there are plenty of ghosts tJiere — does Shake- 
speare ever give the stage-direction 'hands chair to 

The lady looked puzzled and thoughtful for a moment : 
then she almost clapped her hands. "Yes, yes, he doesT 
she cried. "He makes Hamlet say 'Rest, rest, perturbed 
Spirit!' " 

"And that, I suppose, means an easy-chair?" 

"An American rocking-chair, I thin\ — " 

"Fayfield Junction, my Lady, change for Elveston!" 
the guard announced, flinging open the door of the car- 
riage : and we soon found ourselves, with all our portable 
property around us, on the platform. 

The accommodation, provided for passengers waiting 
at this Junction, was distinctly inadequate — a single 
wooden bench, apparently intended for three sitters only : 
and even this was already partially occupied by a very 
old man, in a smock frock, who sat, with rounded shoul- 
ders and drooping head, and with hands clasped on the 
top of his stick so as to make a sort of pillow for that 
wrinkled face with its look of patient weariness. 

"Come, you be off!" the Station-master roughly ac- 
costed the poor old man. "You be off, and make way for 



your betters! This way, my Lady!" he added in a per- 
fectly different tone. "I£ your Ladyship will take a seat, 
the train will be up in a few minutes." The cringing 
servility of his manner was due, no doubt, to the address 
legible on the pile of luggage, which announced their 
owner to be "Lady Muriel Orme, passenger to Elveston, 
via Fayfield Junction." 

As I watched the old man slowly rise to his feet, and 
hobble a few paces down the platform, the lines came 
to my lips: — 

'*From sac\cloth couch the Mon\ arose, 
With toil his stiffen d limbs he rear'd; 
A hundred years had flung their snows 
On his thin loc\s and floating beard'' 

But the lady scarcely noticed the little incident. After 
one glance at the "banished man" who stood tremulously 
leaning on his stick, she turned to me. "This is not an 
American rocking-chair, by any means! Yet may I say," 
slightly changing her place, so as to make room for me 
beside her, "may I say, in Hamlet's words, *Rest, rest — ' " 
she broke off with a silvery laugh. 

" ' — perturbed Spirit!' " I finished the sentence for her. 
"Yes, that describes a railway-traveler exactly! And here 
is an instance of it," I added, as the tiny local train drew 
up alongside the platform, and the porters bustled about, 
opening carriage-doors — one of them helping the poor 
old man to hoist himself into a third-class carriage, while 
another of them obsequiously conducted the lady and my- 
self into a first-class. 

She paused, before following him, to watch the progress 
of the other passenger. "Poor old man!" she said. "How 
weak and ill he looks! It was a shame to let him be 
turned away like that. I'm very sorry — " At this moment 
it dawned on me that these words were not addressed to 


me^ but that she was unconsciously thinking aloud. I 
moved away a few steps, and waited to follow her into 
the carriage, where I resumed the conversation. 

"Shakespeare must have traveled by rail, if only in a 
dream: 'perturbed Spirit' is such a happy phrase." 

"'Perturbed' referring, no doubt," she rejoined, "to 
the sensational booklets, peculiar to the Rail. If Steam has 
done nothing else, it has at least added a whole new 
Species to English Literature!" 

"No doubt of it," I echoed. "The true origin of all our 
medical books — and all our cookery-books — " 

"No, no!" she broke in merrily. "I didn't mean our 
Literature! We are quite abnormal. But the booklets — 
the little thrilling romances, where the Murder comes at 
page fifteen, and the Wedding at page forty — surely they 
are due to Steam?" 

"And when we travel by Electricity — if I may venture 
to develop your theory — we shall have leaflets instead of 
booklets, and the Murder and the Wedding will come on 
the same page." 

"A development worthy of Darwin!" the lady exclaim- 
ed enthusiastically. "Only you reverse his theory. Instead 
of developing a mouse into an elephant, you would de- 
velop an elephant into a mouse!" But here we plunged 
into a tunnel, and I leaned back and closed my eyes for 
a moment, trying to recall a few of the incidents of my 
recent dream. 

"I thought I saw — " I murmured sleepily: and then the 
phrase insisted on conjugating itself, and ran into "you 
thought you saw — he thought he saw — " and then it sud- 
denly went off into a song : — 

^^He thought he saw an Elephant, 

That practised on a fife: ' 

He loo\ed again, and found it was 


A letter from his wife. 
'At length I realise,^ he said, 
*The bitterness of Life/ 

f f> 

And what a wild being it was who sang these wild 
words! A Gardener he seemed to be — yet surely a mad 
one, by the way he brandished his rake — madder, by the 
way he broke, ever and anon, into a frantic jig — maddest 
of all, by the shriek in which he brought out the last 
words of the stanza! 

It was so far a description of himself that he had the 
jeet of an Elephant: but the rest of him was skin and 
bone : and the wisps of loose straw, that bristled all about 
him, suggested that he had been originally stuffed with 
it, and that nearly all the stuffing had come out. 

Sylvie and Bruno waited patiently till the end of the 
first verse. Then Sylvie advanced alone (Bruno having 
suddenly turned shy) and timidly introduced herself 
with the words "Please, I'm Sylvie!" 

"And who's that other thing?" said the Gardener. 

"What thing?" said Sylvie, looking round. "Oh, that's 
Bruno. He's my brother." 

"Was he your brother yesterday?" the Gardener anx- 
iously enquired. 

"Course I were!" cried Bruno, who had gradually crept 
nearer, and didn't at all like being talked about without 
having his share in the conversation. 

"Ah, well!" the Gardener said with a kind of groan. 
"Things change so, here. Whenever I look again it's sure 
to be something different! Yet I does my duty! I gets up 
wriggle-early at five — " 

"If I was 00," said Bruno, "I wouldn't wriggle so early. 
It's as bad as being a worm!" he added, in an undertone 
to Sylvie. 

"But you shouldn't be lazy in the morning, Bruno," 


said Sylvie. "Remember, it's the early bird that picks up 
the worm!" 

"It may, if it Hkes!" Bruno said with a sUght yawn. 
"I don't Uke eating worms, one bit. I always stop in bed 
till the early bird has picked them up!" 

"I wonder you've the face to tell me such fibs!" cried 
the Gardener. 

To which Bruno wisely replied, "Oo don't want a face 
to tell fibs wiz — only a mouf.'' 

Sylvie discreetly changed the subject. "And did you 
plant all these flowers?" she said. "What a lovely garden 
you've made! Do you know, I'd like to live here always T 

"In the winter-nights — " the Gardener was beginning. 

"But I'd nearly forgotten what we came about!" Sylvie 
interrupted. "Would you please let us through into the 
road? There's a poor old beggar just gone out — and he's 
very hungry — and Bruno wants to give him his cake, 
you know!" 

"It's as much as my place is worth!" the Gardener mut- 
tered, taking a key from his pocket, and beginning to 
unlock a door in the garden-wall. 

"How much are it wurf ?" Bruno innocently enquired. 

But the Gardener only grinned. "That's a secret!" he 
said. "Mind you come back quick!" he called after the 
children, as they passed out into the road. I had just time 
to follow them, before he shut the door again. 

We hurried down the road, and very soon caught sight 
of the old Beggar, about a quarter of a mile ahead of us, 
and the children at once set off running to overtake him. 
Lightly and swiftly they skimmed over the ground, and 
I could not in the least understand how it was I kept up 
with them so easily. But the unsolved problem did not 
worry me so much as at another time it might have done, 
there were so many other things to attend to. 


The old Beggar must have been very deaf, as he paid 
no attention whatever to Bruno's eager shouting, but 
trudged wearily on, never pausing until the child got in 
front of him and held up the slice of cake. The poor 
little fellow was quite out of breath, and could only utter 
the one word "Cake!" — not with the gloomy decision 
with which Her Excellency had so lately pronounced it, 
but with a sweet childish timidity, looking up into the old 
man's face with eyes that loved "all things both great 
and small." 

The old man snatched it from him, and devoured it 
greedily, as some hungry wild beast might have done, 
but never a word of thanks did he give his little bene- 
factor — only growled "More, more!" and glared at the 
half-frightened children. 

"There is no more!" Sylvie said with tears in her eyes. 
"I'd eaten mine. It was a shame to let you be turned 
away like that. I'm very sorry — " 

I lost the rest of the sentence, for my mind had re- 
curred, with a great shock of surprise, to Lady Muriel 
Orme, who had so lately uttered these very words of 
Sylvie's — yes, and in Sylvie's own voice, and with Sylvie's 
gentle pleading eyes! 

"JFoUow me!" were the next words I heard, as the old 
man waved his hand, with a dignified grace that ill 
suited his ragged dress, over a bush, that stood by the 
road side, which began instantly to sink into the earth. 
At another time I might have doubted the evidence of 
my eyes, or at least have felt some astonishment: but, in 
Ms strange scene, my whole being seemed absorbed in 
strong curiosity as to what would happen next. 

When the bush had sunk quite out of our sight, marble 
steps were seen, leading downwards into darkness. The 
old man led the way, and we eagerly followed. 


The staircase was so dark, at first, that I could only just 
see the forms of the children, as, hand-in-hand, they 
groped their way down after their guide: but it got 
lighter every moment, with a strange silvery brightness, 
that seemed to exist in the air, as there were no lamps 
visible; and, when at last we reached a level floor, the 
room, we found ourselves in, was almost as light as day. 

It was eight-sided, having in each angle a slender pillar, 
round which silken draperies were twined. The wall be- 
tween the pillars was entirely covered, to the height of six 
or seven feet, with creepers, frojn which hung quantities 
of ripe fruit and of brilliant flowers, that almost hid the 
leaves. In another place, perchance, I might have wonder- 
ed to see fruit and flowers growing together: here, my 
chief wonder was that neither fruit nor flowers were such 
as I had ever seen before. Higher up, each wall contained 
a circular window of coloured glass; and over all was an 
arched roof, that seemed to be spangled all over with 

With hardly less wonder, I turned this way and that, 
trying to make out how in the world we had come in: 
for there was no door : and all the walls were thickly cov- 
ered with the lovely creepers. 

''We are safe here, my darlings!" said the old man, 
laying a hand on Sylvie's shoulder, and bending down to 
kiss her. Sylvie drew back hastily, with an offended air: 
but in another moment, with a glad cry of "Why, it's 
Father!'\ she had run into his arms. 

"Father! Father!" Bruno repeated: and, while the 
happy children were being hugged and kissed, I could 
but rub my eyes and say "Where, then, are the rags gone 
to?"; for the old man was now dressed in royal robes 
that glittered with jewels and gold embroidery, and wore 
a circlet of gold around his head. 

Chapter VI 
The Magic Locket 

"Where are we, father?" Sylvie whispered, with her 
arms twined closely around the old man's neck, and with 
her rosy cheek lovingly pressed to his. 

"In Elfland, darling. It's one of the provinces of Fairy- 

"But I thought Elfland was ever so far from Outland: 
and we've come such a tiny little way!" 

"You came by the Royal Road, sweet one. Only those 
of royal blood can travel along it : but youve been royal 
ever since I was made King of Elfland — that's nearly a 
month ago. They sent two ambassadors, to make sure 
that their invitation to me, to be their new King, should 
reach me. One was a Prince; so he was able to come by 
the Royal Road, and to come invisibly to all but me: the 
other was a Baron; so he had to come by the common 
road, and I dare say he hasn't even arrived yet." 

"Then how far have we come?" Sylvie enquired. 

"Just a thousand miles, sweet one, since the Gardener 
unlocked that door for you." 

"A thousand miles!" Bruno repeated. "And may I eat 
one r 

"Eat a mile^ little rogue?" 

"No," said Bruno. "I mean may I eat one of that 

"Yes, child," said the father: "and then you'll find out 
what Pleasure is like — the Pleasure we all seek so madly, 
and enjoy so mournfully!" 

Bruno ran eagerly to the wall, and picked a fruit that 
was shaped something like a banana, but had the colour 
of a strawberry. 


He ate it with beaming looks, that became gradually 
more gloomy, and were very blank indeed by the time 
he had finished. 

"It hasn't got no taste at all!" he complained. "I couldn't 
feel nuflin in my mouf! It's a — what's that hard word, 

"It was a Fhlizzr Sylvie gravely replied. "Are they all 
like that, father?" 

"They're all like that to you, darling, because you don't 
belong to Elfland — yet. But X.o me they are real." 

Bruno looked puzzled. "I'll try anuvver kind of fruits!" 
he said, and jumped down off the King's knee. "There's 
some lovely striped ones, just like a rainbow!" And off 
he ran. 

Meanwhile the Fairy-King and Sylvie were talking to- 
gether, but in such low tones that I could not catch the 
words : so I followed Bruno, who was picking and eating 
other kinds of fruit, in the vain hope of finding some 
that had a taste. I tried to pick some myself — but it was 
like grasping air, and I soon gave up the attempt and 
returned to Sylvie. 

"Look well at it, my darling," the old man was saying, 
"and tell me how you like it." 

"It's just lovely^' cried Sylvie, delightedly. "Bruno, 
come and look!" And she held up, so that he might see 
the light through it, a heart-shaped Locket, apparently cut 
out of a single jewel, of a rich blue colour, with a slender 
gold chain attached to it. 

"It are welly pretty," Bruno more soberly remarked: 
and he began spelling out some words inscribed on it. 
"All — will — love — Sylvie," he made them out at last. 
"And so they doos!" he cried, clasping his arms round 
her neck. ''Everybody loves Sylvie!" 

"But we love her best, don't we, Bruno?" said the old 


King, as he took possession of the Locket. "Now, Sylvie, 
look at thisT And he showed her, lying on the palm of 
his hand, a Locket of a deep crimson colour, the same 
shape as the blue one, and, like it, attached to a slender 
golden chain. 

"Lovelier and lovelier!" exclaimed Sylvie, clasping her 
hands in ecstasy. "Look, Bruno!" 

"And there's words on this one, too," said Bruno. 
"Sylvie — will — love — all." 

"Now you see the difference," said the old man: "dif- 
ferent colours and different words. Choose one of them, 
darling. I'll give you whichever you like best." 

Sylvie whispered the words, several times over, with a 
thoughtful smile, and then made her decision. "It's very 
nice to be loved," she said: "but it's nicer to love other 
people! May I have the red one. Father?" 

The old man said nothing: but I could see his eyes fill 
with tears, as he bent his head and pressed his lips to her 
forehead in a long loving kiss. Then he undid the chain, 
and showed her how to fasten it round her neck, and to 
hide it away under the edge of her frock. "It's for you to 
\eep^ you know," he said in a low voice, "not for other 
people to see. You'll remember how to use it?" 

"Yes, I'll remember," said Sylvie. 

"And now, darlings, it's time for you to go back, or 
they'll be missing you, and then that poor Gardener will 
get into trouble!" * 

Once more a feeling of wonder rose in my mind as to 
how in the world we were to get back again — since I 
took it for granted that wherever the children went, / 
was to go — but no shadow of doubt seemed to cross their 
minds, as they hugged and kissed him, murmuring, over 
and over again, "Good-bye, darling Father!" And then, 
suddenly and swiftly, the darkness of midnight seemed 


to close in upon us, and through the darkness harshly 
rang a strange wild song: — 

''He thought he saw a BwQalo 

Upon the chimney -piece: 
He loo\ed again, and found it was 

His Sisters Husband's Niece. 
'Unless you leave this house , he said, 

'I'll send for the Police!' " 

"That was mer he added, looking out at us, through 
the half-opened door, as we stood waiting in the road. 
"And that's what I'd have done — as sure as potatoes aren't 
radishes — i£ she hadn't have tooken herself off! But I al- 
ways loves my pay-rints like anything." 

"Who are oor pay-rints?'' said Bruno. 

"Them as pay rint for me, a course!" the Gardener 
replied. "You can come in now, if you like." 

He flung the door open as he spoke, and we got out, 
a little dazzled and stupefied (at least / felt so) at the 
sudden transition from the half-darkness of the railway- 
carriage to the brilliantly-lighted platform of Elveston 

A footman, in a handsome livery, came forwards and 
respectfully touched his hat. "The carriage is here, my 
Lady," he said, taking from her the wraps and small 
articles she was carrying: and Lady Muriel, after shaking 
hands and bidding me "Good-night!" with a pleasant 
smile, followed him. 

It was with a somewhat blank and lonely feeling that 
I betook myself to the van from which the luggage was 
being taken out: and, after giving directions to have my 
boxes sent after me, I made my way on foot to Arthur's 
lodgings, and soon lost my lonely feeling in the hearty 
welcome my old friend gave me, and the cozy warmth 


and cheerful light of the little sitting-room into which 
he led me. 

"Little, as you see, but quite enough for us two. Now, 
take the easy-chair, old fellow, and let's have another look 
at you! Well, you do look a bit pulled down!" and he 
put on a solemn professional air. "I prescribe Ozone, 
quant, suff. Social dissipation, fiant pilulce quam plurimce: 
to be taken, feasting, three times a day!" 

"But, Doctor!" I remonstrated. "Society doesn't 'receive' 
three times a day!" 

"That's all you know about it!" the young Doctor 
gaily replied. "At home, lawn-tennis, 3 p.m. At home, 
kettledrum, 5 p.m. At home, music (Elveston doesn't give 
dinners), 8 p.m. Carriages at 10. There you are!" 

It sounded very pleasant, I was obliged to admit. "And 
I know some of the /a<^y-society already," I added. "One 
of them came in the same carriage with me." 

"What was she like? Then perhaps I can identify her." 

"The name was Lady Muriel Orme. As to what she 
was li\e — well, / thought her very beautiful. Do you 
know her?" 

"Yes — I do know her." And the grave Doctor coloured 
slightly as he added "Yes, I agree with you. She is 

"/ quite lost my heart to her!" I went on mischievously. 
"We talked—" 

"Have some supper!" Arthur interrupted with an air 
of relief, as the maid entered with the tray. And he stead- 
ily resisted all my attempts to return to the subject of 
Lady Muriel until the evening had almost worn itself 
away. Then, as we sat gazing into the fire, and conversa- 
tion was lapsing into silence, he made a hurried confes- 

"I hadn't meant to tell you anything about her," he 


said (naming no names, as i£ there were only one "she" 
in the world!) "till you had seen more of her, and formed 
your own judgment of her: but somehow you surprised 
it out of me. And Fve not breathed a word of it to any 
one else. But I can trust you with a secret, old friend! 
Yes! It's true of me^ what I suppose you said in jest." 

"In the merest jest, believe me!" I said earnestly. "Why^ 
man, Fm three times her age! But if she's your choice, 
then I'm sure she's all that is good and — " 

" — and sweet," Arthur went on, "and pure, and self- 
denying, and true-hearted, and — " he broke off hastily, as 
if he could not trust himself to say more on a subject 
so sacred and so precious. Silence followed : and I leaned 
back drowsily in my easy-chair, filled with bright and 
beautiful imaginings of Arthur and his lady-love, and of 
all the peace and happiness in store for them. 

I pictured them to myself walking together, lingeringly 
and lovingly, under arching trees, in a sweet garden of 
their own, and welcomed back by their faithful gardener, 
on their return from some brief excursion. 

It seemed natural enough that the gardener should be 
filled with exuberant delight at the return of so gracious 
a master and mistress — and how strangely childlike they 
looked! I could have taken them for Sylvie and Bruno 
— less natural that he should show it by such wild dances, 
such crazy songs! 

''He thought he saw a Rattlesnake 
That questioned him in Gree\: 

Me loo\ed again, and found it was 
The Middle of Next Wee\. 

'The one thing I regret' he said, 
'Is that it cannot speal{l' " 

— least natural of all that the Vice-Warden and "my 


Lady" should be standing close beside me, discussing an 
open letter, which had just been handed to him by the 
Professor, who stood, meekly waiting, a few yards off. 

"If it were not for those two brats," I heard him mutter, 
glancing savagely at Sylvie and Bruno, who were courte- 
ously listening to the Gardener's song, "there would be 
no difficulty whatever." 

"Let's hear that bit of the letter again," said my Lady. 
And the Vice-Warden read aloud: — 

" — and we therefore entreat you graciously to accept 
the Kingship, to which you have been unanimously elect- 
ed by the Council of Elfland: and that you will allow 
your son Bruno — of whose goodness, cleverness, and 
beauty, reports have reached us — to be regarded as Heir- 

"But what's the difficulty?" said my Lady. 

"Why, don't you see? The Ambassador, that brought 
this, is waiting in the house: and he's sure to see Sylvie 
and Bruno : and then, when he sees Uggug, and remem- 
bers all that about ^goodness, cleverness, and beauty,' why, 
he's sure to — " 

"And where will you find a better boy than Uggug?'' 
my Lady indignantly interrupted. "Or a wittier, or a 

To all of which the Vice-Warden simply replied "Don't 
you be a great blethering goose! Our only chance is to 
keep those two brats out of sight. If you can manage that^ 
you may leave the rest to me. I'll make him believe Uggug 
to be a model of cleverness and all that." 

"We must change his name to Bruno, of course?" said 
my Lady. 

The Vice-Warden rubbed his chin. "Humph! No!" he 
said musingly. "Wouldn't do. The boy's such an utter 
idiot, he'd never learn to answer to it." 


''Idiot, indeed!" cried my Lady. "He's no more an idiot 
than / am!" 

"You're right, my dear," the Vice-Warden soothingly 
repUed. "He isn't, indeed!" 

My Lady was appeased. "Let's go in and receive the 
Ambassador," she said, and beckoned to the Professor. 
"Which room is he waiting in?" she inquired. 

"In the Library, Madam." 

"And what did you say his name was?" said the Vice- 

The Professor referred to a card he held in his hand. 
"His Adiposity the Baron Doppelgeist." 

"Why does he come with such a funny name?" said 
my Lady. 

"He couldn't well change it on the journey," the Pro- 
fessor meekly replied, "because of the luggage." 

"You go and receive him," my Lady said to the Vice- 
Warden, "and ril attend to the children." 

Chapter VII 
The Baron's Embassy 

I WAS following the Vice- Warden, but, on second 
thoughts, went after my Lady, being curious to see how 
she would manage to keep the children out of sight. 

I found her holding Sylvie's hand, and with her other 
hand stroking Bruno's hair in a most tender and motherly 
fashion : both children were looking bewildered and half- 

"My own darlings," she was saying, "I've been planning 
a little treat for you! The Professor shall take you a long 


walk into the woods this beautiful evening : and you shall 
take a basket of food with you, and have a little picnic 
down by the river!" 

Bruno jumped, and clapped his hands. "That are nice!" 
he cried. "Aren't it, Sylvie?" 

Sylvie, who hadn't quite lost her surprised look, put up 
her mouth for a kiss. "Thank you very much," she said 

My Lady turned her head away to conceal the broad 
grin of triumph that spread over her vast face, like a 
ripple on a lake. "Little simpletons!" she muttered to her- 
self, as she marched up to the house. I followed her in. 

"Quite so, your Excellency," the Baron v/as saying as 
we entered the Library. "All the infantry were under my 
command." He turned, and was duly presented to my 

"A military hero?" said my Lady. The fat little man 
simpered. "Well, yes," he replied, modestly casting down 
his eyes. "My ancestors were all famous for military 

My Lady smiled graciously. "It often runs in families," 
she remarked: "just as a love for pastry does." 

The Baron looked slightly offended, and the Vice- 
Warden discreetly changed the subject. "Dinner will 
soon be ready," he said. "May I have the honour of con- 
ducting your Adiposity to the guest-chamber?" 

"Certainly, certainly!" the Baron eagerly assented. "It 
would never do to keep dinner waiting!" And he almost 
trotted out of the room after the Vice-Warden. 

He was back again so speedily that the Vice-Warden 
had barely time to explain to my Lady that her remark 
about "a love for pastry" was "unfortunate. You might 
have seen, with half an eye," he added, "that that's his 
line. Military genius, indeed! Pooh!" 


"Dinner ready yet?" the Baron enquired, as he hurried 
into the room. 

"Will be in a few minutes," the Vice- Warden replied. 
"Meanwhile, let's take a turn in the garden. You were 
telling me," he continued, as the trio left the house, 
"something about a great battle in which you had the 
command of the infantry — " 

"True," said the Baron. "The enemy, as I was saying, 
far outnumbered us: but I marched my men right into 
the middle of — what's that?" the Military Hero exclaimed 
in agitated tones, drawing back behind the Vice-Warden, 
as a strange creature rushed wildly upon them, brandish- 
ing a spade. 

"It's only the Gardener!" the Vice-Warden replied in 
an encouraging tone. "Quite harmless, I assure you. Hark, 
he's singing! It's his favorite amusement." 

And once more those shrill discordant tones rang 
out : — 

''He thought he saw a Ban\ers Cler\ 

Descending from the bus: 
He looked again, and found it was 

A Hippopotamus: 
'If this should stay to dine' he said, 

'There wont be much for us!' " 

Throwing away the spade, he broke into a frantic jig, 
snapping his fingers, and repeating, again and again 

"There wont be much for us! 
There wont be much for us!" 

Once more the Baron looked slightly offended, but 
the Vice-Warden hastily explained that the song had no 
allusion to him^ and in fact had no meaning at all. "You 


didn't mean anything by it, now did you?" He appealed 
to the Gardener, who had finished his song, and stood, 
balancing himself on one leg, and looking at them, with 
his mouth open. 

"I never means nothing," said the Gardener: and Ug- 
gug luckily came up at the moment, and gave the con- 
versation a new turn. 

"Allow me to present my son," said the Vice-Warden; 
adding, in a whisper, "one of the best and cleverest boys 
that ever lived! I'll contrive for you to see some of his 
cleverness. He knows everything that other boys dont 
know; and in archery, in fishing, in painting, and in 
music, his skill is — but you shall judge for yourself. You 
see that target over there? He shall shoot an arrow at it. 
Dear boy," he went on aloud, "his Adiposity would like 
to see you shoot. Bring his Highness' bow and arrows!" 

Uggug looked very sulky as he received the bow and 
arrow, and prepared to shoot. Just as the arrow left the 
bow, the Vice-Warden trod heavily on the toe of the 
Baron, who yelled with the pain. 

"Ten thousand pardons!" he exclaimed. "I stepped 
back in my excitement. Seel It is a bull's-eye!" 

The Baron gazed in astonishment. "He held the bow 
so awkwardly, it seemed impossible!" he muttered. But 
there was no room for doubt: there was the arrow, right 
in the centre of the bull's-eye! 

"The lake is close by," continued the Vice-Warden. 
"Bring his Highness' fishing-rod!" And Uggug most un- 
willingly held the rod, and dangled the fly over the water. 

"A beetle on your arm!" cried my Lady, pinching the 
poor Baron's arm worse than if ten lobsters had seized 
it at once. ''TJiat kind is poisonous," she explained. "But 
what a pity! You missed seeing the fish pulled out!" 


An enormous dead cod-fish was lying on the bank, with 
the hook in its mouth. 

"I had always fancied/' the Baron faltered, "that cod 
were ^^//-water fish?" 

"Not in this country," said the Vice- Warden. "Shall 
we go in? Ask my son some question on the way — any 
subject you like!" And the sulky boy was violently shoved 
forwards to walk at the Baron's side. 

"Could your Highness tell me," the Baron cautiously 
began, "how much seven times nine would come to?" 

"Turn to the left!" cried the Vice-Warden, hastily step- 
ping forwards to show the way — so hastily, that he ran 
against his unfortunate guest, who fell heavily on his 

''So sorry!" my Lady exclaimed, as she and her hus- 
band helped him to his feet again. "My son was in the 
act of saying 'sixty-three' as you fell!" 

The Baron said nothing: he was covered with dust, 
and seemed much hurt, both in body and mind. However, 
when they had got him into the house, and given him a 
good brushing, matters looked a little better. 

Dinner was served in due course, and every fresh dish 
seemed to increase the good-humour of the Baron: but 
all efforts, to get him to express his opinion as to Uggug's 
cleverness, were in vain, until that interesting youth had 
left the room, and was seen from the open window, 
prowling about the lawn with a little basket, which he 
was filling with frogs. 

"So fond of Natural History as he is, dear boy!" said 
the doting mother. "Now do tell us. Baron, what you 
think of him!" 

"To be perfectly candid," said the cautious Baron, "I 
would like a little more evidence. I think vou mentioned 
his skill in — " 


"Music?" said the Vice-Warden. "Why, he's simply a 
prodigy! You shall hear him play the piano." And he 
walked to the window. "Ug — I mean my boy! Come in 
for a minute, and bring the music-master with you! To 
turn over the music for him," he added as an explana- 

Uggug, having filled his basket with frogs, had no ob- 
jection to obey, and soon appeared in the room, followed 
by a fierce-looking little man, who asked the Vice- 
Warden "Vot music vill you haf ?" 

"The Sonata that His Highness plays so charmingly," 
said the Vice-Warden. 

"His Highness haf not — " the music-master began, but 
was sharply stopped by the Vice-Warden. 

"Silence, Sir! Go and turn over the music for his High- 
ness. My dear," (to the Wardeness) "will you show him 
what to do? And meanwhile. Baron, FU just show you 
a most interesting map we have — of Outland, and Fairy- 
land, and that sort of thing." 

By the time my Lady had returned, from explaining 
things to the music-master, the map had been hung up, 
and the Baron was already much bewildered by the Vice- 
Warden's habit of pointing to one place while he shouted 
out the name of another. 

My Lady joining in, pointing out other places, and 
shouting other names, only made matters worse; and at 
last the Baron, in despair, took to pointing out places 
for himself, and feebly asked "Is that great yellow splotch 

"Yes, that's Fairyland," said the Vice-Warden: "and 
you might as well give him a hint," he muttered to my 
Lady, "about going back to-morrow. He eats like a shark! 
It would hardly do for me to mention it." 

His wife caught the idea, and at once began giving 


hints of the most subtle and deUcate kind. "J^st see what 
a short way it is back to Fairyland! Why, if you started 
to-morrow morning, you'd get there in very little more 
than a week!" 

The Baron looked incredulous. "It took me a full 
month to come^' he said. 

"But it's ever so much shorter, going bac\^ you know!" 

The Baron looked appealingly to the Vice-Warden, 
who chimed in readily. "You can go back five times, in 
the time it took you to come here once — if you start to- 
morrow morning!" 

All this time the Sonata was pealing through the room. 
The Baron could not help admitting to himself that it 
was being magnificently played: but he tried in vain to 
get a glimpse of the youthful performer. Every time he 
had nearly succeeded in catching sight of him, either the 
Vice-Warden or his wife was sure to get in the way, 
pointing out some new place on the map, and deafening 
him with some new name. 

He gave in at last, wished a hasty good-night, and left 
the room, while his host and hostess interchanged looks 
of triumph. 

"Deftly done!" cried the Vice-Warden. "Craftily con- 
trived! But what means all that tramping on the stairs?" 
He half -opened the door, looked out, and added in a tone 
of dismay, "The Baron's boxes are being carried down!" 

"And what means all that rumbling of wheels?" cried 
my Lady. She peeped through the window curtains. "The 
Baron's carriage has come round!" she groaned. 

At this moment the door opened: a fat, furious face 
looked in: a voice, hoarse with passion, thundered out 
the words "My room is full of frogs — I leave you!": and 
the door closed again. 

And still the noble Sonata went pealing through the 


room: but it was Arthur s masterly touch that roused the 
echoes, and thrilled my very soul with the tender music 
of the immortal "Sonata Pathetique" : and it was not till 
the last note had died away that the tired but happy 
traveler could bring himself to utter the words "good- 
night!" and to seek his much-needed pillow. 

Chapter VIII 
A Ride on a Lion 

The next day glided away, pleasantly enough, partly 
in settling myself in my new quarters, and partly in 
strolling round the neighbourhood, under Arthur's guid- 
ance, and trying to form a general idea of Elveston and 
its inhabitants. When five o'clock arrived, Arthur pro- 
posed — without any embarrassment this time — to take me 
with him up to "the Hall," in order that I might make 
acquaintance with the Earl of Ainslie, who had taken it 
for the season, and renew acquaintance with his daughter 
Lady Muriel. 

My first impressions of the gentle, dignified, and yet 
genial old man were entirely favourable: and the real 
satisfaction that showed itself on his daughter's face, as 
she met me with the words "this is indeed an unlooked- 
for pleasure!", was very soothing for whatever remains 
of personal vanity the failures and disappointments of 
many long years, and much buffeting with a rough world, 
had left in me. 

Yet I noted, and was glad to note, evidence of a far 
deeper feeling than mere friendly regard, in her meeting 
with Arthur — though this was, as I gathered, an almost 


daily occurrence — and the conversation between them, in 
which the Earl and I were only occasional sharers, had 
an ease and a spontaneity rarely met with except between 
very old friends : and, as I knew that they had not known 
each other for a longer period than the summer which 
was now rounding into autumn, I felt certain that "Love,'' 
and Love alone, could explain the phenomenon. 

"How convenient it would be," Lady Muriel laughing- 
ly remarked, a propos of my having insisted on saving her 
the trouble of carrying a cup of tea across the room to 
the Earl, "if cups of tea had no weight at all! Then per- 
haps ladies would sometimes be permitted to carry them 
for short distances!" 

"One can easily imagine a situation," said Arthur, 
"where things would necessarily have no weight, rela- 
tively to each other, though each would have its usual 
weight, looked at by itself." 

"Some desperate paradox!" said the Earl. "Tell us how 
it could be. We shall never guess it." 

"Well, suppose this house, just as it is, placed a few 
billion miles above a planet, and with nothing else near 
enough to disturb it : of course it falls to the planet ? " 

The Earl nodded. "Of course — though it might take 
some centuries to do it." 

"And is five-o'clock-tea to be going on all the while?" 
said Lady Muriel. 

"That, and other things," said Arthur. "The inhabi- 
tants would live their lives, grow up and die, and still 
the house would be falling, falling, falling! But now as to 
the relative weight of things. Nothing can be heavy ^ you 
know, except by trying to fall, and being prevented from 
doing so. You all grant that.f^" 

We all granted that. 

"Well, now, if I take this book, and hold it out at 


arm's length, o£ course I feel its weight. It is trying to fall, 
and I prevent it. And, if I let go, it falls to the floor. But, 
if we were all falling together, it couldn't be trying to fall 
any quicker, you know : for, if I let go, what more could 
it do than fall ? And, as my hand would be falling too — 
at the same rate — it would never leave it, for that would 
be to get ahead of it in the race. And it could never over- 
take the falling floor!" 

"I see it clearly," said Lady Muriel. "But it makes one 
dizzy to think of such things! How can you make us 
do it?" 

"There is a more curious idea yet," I ventured to say. 
"Suppose a cord fastened to the house, from below, and 
pulled down by some one on the planet. Then of course 
the house goes faster than its natural rate of falling: but 
the furniture — with our noble selves — would go on falling 
at their old pace, and would therefore be left behind." 

"Practically, we should rise to the ceiling," said the 
Earl. "The inevitable result of which would be concus- 
sion of brain." 

"To avoid that," said Arthur, "let us have the furniture 
fixed to the floor, and ourselves tied down to the furniture. 
Then the five-o'clock-tea could go on in peace." 

"With one little drawback!" Lady Muriel gaily inter- 
rupted. "We should take the cups down with us: but 
what about the tea?'' 

"I had forgotten the tea^'' Arthur confessed. ''That, no 
doubt, would rise to the ceiling — unless you chose to drink 
it on the way!" 

"Which, I think, is quite nonsense enough for one 
while!" said the Earl. "What news does this gentleman 
bring us from the great world of London?" 

This drew me into the conversation, which now took 
a more conventional tone. After a while, Arthur gave the 


signal for our departure, and in the cool of the evening 
we strolled down to the beach, enjoying the silence, bro- 
ken only by the murmur of the sea and the far-away mu- 
sic of some fishermen's song, almost as much as our late 
pleasant talk. 

We sat down among the rocks, by a little pool, so rich 
in animal, vegetable, and zoophytic — or whatever is the 
right word — life, that I became entranced in the study of 
it, and, when Arthur proposed returning to our lodgings, 
I begged to be left there for a while, to watch and muse 

The fishermen's song grew ever nearer and clearer, as 
their boat stood in for the beach; and I would have gone 
down to see them land their cargo of fish, had not the 
microcosm at my feet stirred my curiosity yet more 

One ancient crab, that was for ever shuffling frantically 
from side to side of the pool, had particularly fascinated 
me : there was a vacancy in its stare, and an aimless viol- 
ence in its behaviour, that irresistibly recalled the Gar- 
dener who had befriended Sylvie and Bruno: and, as I 
gazed, I caught the concluding notes of the tune of his 
crazy song. 

The silence that followed was broken by the sweet voice 
of Sylvie. "Would you please let us out into the road?" 

"What! After that old beggar again?" the Gardener 
yelled, and began singing: — 

"He thought he saw a Kangaroo 

That wor\ed a co'Qee-mill: 
He loo\ed again, and found it was 

A Vegetable 'Fill. 
'Were I to swallow this/ he said, 

7 should be very illl' " 


"We don't want him to swallow anything^'' Sylvie ex- 
plained. "He's not hungry. But we want to see him. So 
will you please — " 

"Certainly!" the Gardener promptly replied. "I always 
please. Never displeases nobody. There you are!" And he 
flung the door open, and let us out upon the dusty high- 

We soon found our way to the bush, which had so 
mysteriously sunk into the ground : and here Sylvie drew 
the Magic Locket from its hiding-place, turned it over 
with a thoughtful air, and at last appealed to Bruno in a 
rather helpless way. "What was it we had to do with it, 
Bruno? It's all gone out of my head!" 

"Kiss it!" was Bruno's invariable recipe in cases of 
doubt and difficulty. Sylvie kissed it, but no result fol- 

"Rub it the wrong way," was Bruno's next suggestion. 

"Which is the wrong way?" Sylvie most reasonably 
enquired. The obvious plan was to try both ways. 

Rubbing from left to right had no visible eflfect what^ 

From right to left — "Oh, stop, Sylvie!" Bruno cried in 
sudden alarm. "Whatever is going to happen?" 

For a number of trees, on the neighbouring hillside^ 
were moving slowly upwards, in solemn procession: 
while a mild little brook, that had been rippling at our 
feet a moment before, began to swell, and foam, and hiss, 
and bubble, in a truly alarming fashion. 

"Rub it some other way!" cried Bruno. "Try up-and- 
down! Quick!" 

It was a happy thought. Up-and-down did it: and the 
landscape, which had been showing signs of mental aber- 
ration in various directions, returned to its normal con- 
dition of sobriety — with the exception of a small yellow- 


ish-brown mouse, which continued to run wildly up and 
down the road, lashing its tail like a little lion. 

"Let's follow it," said Sylvie: and this also turned out 
a happy thought. The mouse at once settled down into a 
business-like jog-trot, with which we could easily keep 
pace. The only phenomenon, that gave me any uneasi- 
ness, was the rapid increase in the size of the little crea- 
ture we were following, which became every moment 
more and more like a real lion. 

Soon the transformation was complete: and a noble 
lion stood patiently waiting for us to come up with it. 
No thought of fear seemed to occur to the children, who 
patted and stroked it as if it had been a Shetland-pony. 

"Help me up!" cried Bruno. And in another moment 
Sylvie had lifted him upon the broad back of the gentle 
beast, and seated herself behind him, pillion-fashion. 
Bruno took a good handful of mane in each hand, and 
made believe to guide this new kind of steed. "Gee-up!" 
seemed quite sufficient by way of verbal direction: the 
lion at once broke into an easy canter, and we soon found 
ourselves in the depths of the forest. I say "^^," for I am 
certain that / accompanied them — though how I managed 
to keep up with a cantering lion I am wholly unable 
to explain. But I was certainly one of the party when we 
came upon an old beggar-man cutting sticks, at whose 
feet the lion made a profound obeisance, Sylvie and Bruno 
at the same moment dismounting, and leaping into the 
arms of their father. 

"From bad to worse!" the old man said to himself, 
dreamily, when the children had finished their rather con- 
fused account of the Ambassador's visit, gathered no 
doubt from general report, as they had not seen him 
themselves. "From bad to worse! That is their destiny. I 
see it, but I cannot alter it. The selfishness of a mean and 


crafty man — the selfishness of an ambitious and silly 
woman — the selfishness of a spiteful and loveless child — 
all tend one way, from bad to worse! And you, my darl- 
ings, must suffer it awhile, I fear. Yet, when things are 
at their worst, you can come to me. I can do but little 
as yet — " 

Gathering up a handful of dust and scattering it in 
the air, he slowly and solemnly pronounced some words 
that sounded like a charm, the children looking on in 
awe-struck silence: — 

*'Let craft, ambition, spite, 
Be quenched in Reason s night. 
Till wea\ness turn to might. 
Till what is dar\ be light, 
Till what is wrong be right!" 

The cloud of dust spread itself out through the air, as 
if it were alive, forming curious shapes that were for 
ever changing into others. 

"It makes letters! It makes words!" Bruno whispered, 
as he clung, half-frightened, to Sylvie. "Only I cant make 
them out! Read them, Sylvie!" 

"I'll try," Sylvie gravely replied. "Wait a minute — if 
only I could see that word — " 

"I should be very ill!" a discordant voice yelled in our 

it t 

Were I to swallow this! he said, 
7 should be very illV " 

Chapter IX 
A Jester and a Bear 

Yes, we were in the garden once more: and, to escape 
that horrid discordant voice, we hurried indoors, and 
found ourselves in the hbrary — Uggug blubbering, the 
Professor standing by with a bewildered air, and my 
Lady, with her arms clasped round her son's neck, re- 
peating, over and over again, "and did they give him 
nasty lessons to learn? My own pretty pet!" 

"What's all this noise about?" the Vice- Warden angrily 
enquired, as he strode into the room. "And who put the 
hat-stand here?" And he hung his hat up on Bruno, who 
was standing in the middle of the room, too much 
astonished by the sudden change of scene to make any 
attempt at removing it, though it came down to his 
shoulders, making him look something like a small 
candle with a large extinguisher over it. 

The Professor mildly explained that His Highness had 
been graciously pleased to say he wouldn't do his lessons. 

"Do your lessons this instant, you young cub!" 
thundered the Vice-Warden. "And take thisT and a re- 
sounding box on the ear made the unfortunate Professor 
reel across the room. 

"Save me!" faltered the poor old man, as he sank, half- 
fainting, at my Lady's feet. 

"Shave you? Of course I will!" my Lady replied, as she 
lifted him into a chair, and pinned an anti-macassar round 
his neck. "Where's the razor?" 

The Vice-Warden meanwhile had got hold of Uggug, 
and was belabouring him with his umbrella. "Who left 
this loose nail in the floor?" he shouted. "Hammer it in, 



I say! Hammer it in!" Blow after blow fell on the writh- 
ing Uggug, till he dropped howling to the floor. 

Then his father turned to the "shaving" scene which 
was being enacted, and roared with laughter. "Excuse me, 
dear, I ca'n't help it!" he said as soon as he could speak. 
"You are such an utter donkey! Kiss me, Tabby!" 

And he flung his arms round the neck of the terrified 
Professor, who raised a wild shriek, but whether he re- 
ceived the threatened kiss or not I was unable to see, as 
Bruno, who had bv this time released himself from his 
extinguisher, rushed headlong out of the room, followed 
by Sylvie; and I was so fearful of being left alone among 
all these crazy creatures that I hurried after them. 

"We must go to Father!" Sylvie panted, as they ran 
down the garden. "I'm sure things are at their worst! Til 
ask the Gardener to let us out again." 

"But we ca'n't wal\ all the way!" Bruno whimpered. 
"How I wiss we had a coach-and-four, like Uncle!" 

And, shrill and wild, rang through the air the familiar 
voice : — 

''He thought he saw a Coach-and-Four 

That stood beside his bed: 
He looked again, and found it was 

A Bear without a Head. 
'Poor thing,' he said, 'poor silly thingi 

It's waiting to be fed!' " 

"No, I ca'n't let you out again!" he said, before the 
children could speak. "The Vice-Warden gave it me, he 
did, for letting you out last time! So be off with you!" 
And, turning away from them, he began digging franti- 
cally in the middle of a gravel-walk, singing, over and 
over again, 


" 'Poor thing' he said, 'poor silly thing! 
It's waiting to be fed!' '' 

but in a more musical tone than the shrill screech in 
which he had begun. 

The music grew fuller and richer at every moment: 
other manly voices joined in the refrain: and soon I heard 
the heavy thud that told me the boat had touched the 
beach, and the harsh grating of the shingle as the men 
dragged it up. I roused myself, and, after lending them 
a hand in hauling up their boat, I lingered yet awhile to 
watch them disembark a goodly assortment of the hard- 
won "treasures of the deep." 

When at last I reached our lodgings I was tired and 
sleepy, and glad enough to settle down again into the 
easy-chair, while Arthur hospitably went to his cupboard, 
to get me out some cake and wine, without which, he 
declared, he could not, as a doctor, permit my going to 

And how that cupboard-door did creak! It surely could 
not be Arthur^ who was opening and shutting it so often, 
moving so restlessly about, and muttering like the solil- 
oquy of a tragedy-queen! 

No, it was a female voice. Also the figure — half-hidden 
by the cupboard-door — was a female figure, massive, and 
in flowing robes. Could it be the landlady? The door 
opened, and a strange man entered the room. 

"What is that donkey doing?" he said to himself, paus- 
ing, aghast, on the threshold. 

The lady, thus rudely referred to, was his wife. She 
had got one of the cupboards open, and stood with her 
back to him, smoothing down a sheet of brown paper 
on one of the shelves, and whispering to herself "So, so! 
Deftly done! Craftily contrived!" 


Her loving husband stole behind her on tip-toe, and 
tapped her on the head. "Boh!" he playfully shouted at 
her ear. "Never tell me again I ca'n't say 'boh' to a goose!" 

My Lady wrung her hands. "Discovered!" she groaned 
"Yet no — he is one of us! Reveal it not, oh Man! Let it 
bide its time!" 

"Reveal what not?" her husband testily replied, drag- 
ging out the sheet of brown paper. "What are you hiding 
here, my Lady? I insist upon knowing!" 

My Lady cast down her eyes, and spoke in the littlest 
of little voices. "Don't make fun of it, Benjamin!" she 
pleaded. "It's — it's — don't you understand? It's a dagger!" 

"And what's that for?" sneered His Excellency. "We've 
only got to make people thin\ he's dead! We haven't got 
to \ill him! And made of tin, too!" he snarled, con- 
temptuously bending the blade round his thumb. Now, 
Madam, you'll be good enough to explain. First, what 
do you call me Benjamin for?" 

"It's part of the Conspiracy, Love! One must have an 
alias, you know — " 

"Oh, an alias y is it? Well! And next, what did you get 
this dagger for? Come, no evasions? You ca'n't deceive 

"I got it for — for — for — " the detected Conspirator 
stammered, trying her best to put on the assassin-expres- 
sion that she had been practising at the looking-glass. 

"For what^ Madam!" 

"Well, for eighteenpence, if you must know, dearest! 
That's what I got it for, on my — " 

"Now don't say your Word and Honour!" groaned 
the other Conspirator. "Why, they aren't worth half the 
money, put together!" 

"On my birthday j' my Lady concluded in a meek whis- 


per. "One must have a dagger, you know. It's part of 

"Oh, don't talk of Conspiracies!" her husband savagely 
interrupted, as he tossed the dagger into the cupboard. 
"You know about as much how to manage a Conspiracy 
as if you were a chicken. Why, the first thing is to get 
a disguise. Now, just look at this!" 

And with pardonable pride he fitted on the cap and 
bells, and the rest of the Fool's dress, and winked at her, 
and put his tongue in his cheek. "Is that the sort of thing, 
now?" he demanded. 

My Lady's eyes flashed with all a Conspirator's en- 
thusiasm. "The very thing!" she exclaimed, clapping her 
hands. "You do look, oh, such a perfect Fool!" 

The Fool smiled a doubtful smile. He was not quite 
clear whether it was a compliment or not, to express it 
so plainly. "You mean a Jester? Yes, that's what I in- 
tended. And what do you think your disguise is to be?" 
And he proceeded to unfold the parcel, the lady watching 
him in rapture. 

"Oh, how lovely!" she cried, when at last the dress was 
unfolded. "What a splendid disguise! An Esquimaux 
peasant- woman ! " 

"An Esquimaux peasant, indeed!" growled the other. 
"Here, put it on, and look at yourself in the glass. Why, 
it's a Bear^ ca'n't you use your eyes?" He checked him- 
self suddenly, as a harsh voice yelled through the room 


He loo\ed again, and found it was 
A Bear without a Head!" 

But it was only the Gardener, singing under the open 
window. The Vice-Warden stole on tip-toe to the win- 
dow, and closed it noiselessly, before he ventured to go 


on. "Yes, Lovey, a Bear: but not without a head, I hope! 
You're the Bear, and me the Keeper. And if any one 
knows us, they'll have sharp eyes, that's all!" 

"I shall have to practise the steps a bit," my Lady said, 
looking out through the Bear's mouth: "one ca'n't help 
being rather human just at first, you know. And of course 
you'll say, 'Come up. Bruin!', won't you?" 

"Yes, of course," replied the Keeper, laying hold of the 
chain, that hung from the Bear's collar, with one hand, 
while with the other he cracked a little whip. "Now go 
round the room in a sort of a dancing attitude. Very 
good, my dear, very good. Come up, Bruin! Come up, 
I say!" 

He roared out the last words for the benefit of Uggug, 
was had just come into the room, and was now standing, 
with his hands spread out, and eyes and mouth wide 
open, the very picture of stupid amazement. "Oh, my!" 
was all he could gasp out. 

The Keeper pretended to be adjusting the bear's collar, 
which gave him an opportunity of whispering, unheard 
by Uggug, "my fault, I'm afraid! Quite forgot to fasten 
the door. Plot's ruined if he finds it out! Keep it up a 
minute or two longer. Be savage!" Then, while seeming 
to pull it back with all his strength, he let it advance 
upon the scared boy: my Lady, with admirable presence 
of mind, kept up what she no doubt intended for a 
savage growl, though it was more like the purring of a 
cat: and Uggug backed out of the room with such haste 
that he tripped over the mat, and was heard to fall heavily 
outside — an accident to which even his doting mother 
paid no heed, in the excitement of the moment. 

The Vice-Warden shut and bolted the door. "Off with 
the disguises!" he panted. "There's not a moment to lose. 
He's sure to fetch the Professor, and we couldn't take 


him in, you know!" And in another minute the disguises 
were stowed away in the cupboard, the door unbolted, 
and the two Conspirators seated lovingly side-by-side on 
the sofa, earnestly discussing a book the Vice-Warden had 
hastily snatched oflf the table, which proved to be the 
City-Directory of the capital of Outland. 

The door opened, very slowly and cautiously, and the 
Professor peeped in, Uggug's stupid face being just visible 
behind him. 

"It is a beautiful arrangement!" the Vice-Warden was 
saying with enthusiasm. "You see, my precious one, that 
there are fifteen houses in Green Street, before you turn 
into West Street." 

''Fifteen houses! Is it possible?'' my Lady replied. "I 
thought it was fourteen!" And, so intent were they on 
this interesting question, that neither of them even looked 
up till the Professor, leading Uggug by the hand, stood 
close before them. 

My Lady was the first to notice their approach. "Why, 
here's the Professor!" she exclaimed in her blandest tones. 
"And my precious child too! Are lessons over?" 

"A' strange thing has happened!" the Professor began 
in a trembling tone. "His Exalted Fatness" (this was one 
of Uggug's many titles) "tells me he has just seen, in 
this very room, a Dancing-Bear and a Court-Jester!" 

The Vice-Warden and his wife shook with well-acted 

"Not in this room, darling!" said the fond mother. 
"We've been sitting here this hour or more, reading — ," 
here she referred to the book lying on her lap, " — reading 
the — the City-Directory." 

"Let me feel your pulse, my boy!" said the anxious 
father. "Now put out your tongue. Ah, I thought so! 
He's a little feverish. Professor, and has had a bad dream. 


Put him to bed at once, and give him a cooUng draught." 

"I ain't been dreaming!" his Exalted Fatness remon- 
strated, as the Professor led him away. 

"Bad grammar, Sir!" his father remarked with some 
sternness. "Kindly attend to that little matter. Professor, 
as soon as you have corrected the feverishness. And, by 
the way, Professor!" (The Professor left his distinguished 
pupil standing at the door, and meekly returned.) "There 
is a rumour afloat, that the people wish to elect an — in 
point of fact, an — you understand that I mean an — " 

"Not another Professor!'' the poor old man exclaimed 
in horror. 

"No! Certainly not!" the Vice- Warden eagerly explain- 
ed. "Merely an Emperor, you understand." 

"An Emperor!'' cried the astonished Professor, holding 
his head between his hands, as if he expected it to come 
to pieces with the shock. "What will the Warden — " 

"Why, the Warden will most likely be the new Em- 
peror!" my Lady explained. "Where could we find a 
better? Unless, perhaps — " she glanced at her husband. 

"Where, indeed!" the Professor fervently responded, 
quite failing to take the hint. 

The Vice-Warden resumed the thread of his discourse. 
"The reason I mentioned it, Professor, was to ask you to 
be so kind as to preside at the Election. You see it would 
make the thing respectable — no suspicion of anything 
underhand — " 

"I fear I ca'n't, your Excellency!" the old man faltered. 
"What will the Warden—" 

"True, true!" the Vice-Warden interrupted. "Your posi- 
tion, as Court-Professor, makes it awkward, I admit. 
Well, well! Then the Election shall be held without you." 

"Better so, than if it were held within me!" the Pro- 
fessor murmured with a bewildered air, as if he hardly 


knew what he was saying. "Bed, I think your Highness 
said, and a coohng-draught ? " And he wandered dream- 
ily back to where Uggug sulkily awaited him. 

I followed them out of the room, and down the pas- 
sage, the Professor murmuring to himself, all the time, 
as a kind of aid to his feeble memory, "C, C, C; Couch, 
Cooling-Draught, Correct-Grammar," till, in turning a 
corner, he met Sylvie and Bruno, so suddenly that the 
startled Professor let go of his fat pupil, who instantly 
took to his heels. 

Chapter X 
The Other Professor 

*'We were looking for you!" cried Sylvie, in a tone of 
great relief. "We do want you so much, you ca'n't think!" 

"What is it, dear children?" the Professor asked, beam- 
ing on them with a very different look from what Uggug 
ever got from him. 

"We want you to speak to the Gardener for us," Sylvie 
said, as she and Bruno took the old man's hands and led 
him into the hall. ^ 

"He's ever so unkind!" Bruno mournfully added. 
"They's all unkind to us, now that Father's gone. The 
Lion were much nicer!" 

"But you must explain to me, please," the Professor 
said with an anxious look, ''which is the Lion, and which 
is the Gardener. It's most important not to get two such 
animals confused together. And one's very liable to do 
it in their case — both having mouths, you know — " 


"Doos oo always confuses two animals together?" 
Bruno asked. 

"Pretty often, I'm afraid/' the Professor candidly con- 
fessed. "Now, for instance, there's the rabbit-hutch and 
the hall-clock." The Professor pointed them out. "One 
gets a little confused with them — both having doors, you 
know. Now, only yesterday — would you believe it? — I 
put some lettuces into the clock, and tried to wind up 
the rabbit!" 

"Did the rabbit go, after oo wounded it up?" said 

The Professor clasped his hands on the top of his head, 
and groaned. "Go? I should think it did go! Why, it's 
gone! And where ever it's gone to — that's what I ca'n't 
find out! I've done my best — I've read all the article 
*Rabbit' in the great dictionary — Come in!" 

"Only the tailor, Sir, with your little bill," said a meek 
voice outside the door. 

"Ah, well, I can soon settle his business," the Profes- 
sor said to the children, "if you'll just wait a minute. How 
much is it, this year, my man?" The tailor had come in 
while he was speaking. 

"Well, it's been a doubling so many years, you see," 
the tailor replied, a little gruffly, "and I think I'd like the 
money now. It's two thousand pound, it is!" 

"Oh, that's nothing!" the Professor carelessly remarked, 
feeling in his pocket, as if he always carried at least that 
amount about with him. "But wouldn't you like to wait 
just another year, and make it four thousand? Just think 
how rich you'd be! Why, you might be a King, if you 

"I don't know as I'd care about being a King,'' the man 
said thoughtfully. "But it dew sound a powerful sight o' 
money! Well, I think I'll wait — " 


"Of course you will!" said the Professor. "There's good 
sense in you^ I see. Good-day to you, my man!" 

"Will you ever have to pay him that four thousand 
pounds?" Sylvie asked as the door closed on the depart- 
ing creditor. 

'''Never^ my child!" the Professor replied emphatically. 
"He'll go on doubling it, till he dies. You see it's always 
worth while waiting another year, to get twice as much 
money! And now what would you like to do, my little 
friends ? Shall I take you to see the Other Professor ? This 
would be an excellent opportunity for a visit, he said to 
himself, glancing at his watch : "he generally takes a short 
rest — of fourteen minutes and a half — about this time." 

Bruno hastily went round to Sylvie, who was standing 
at the other side of the Professor, and put his hand into 
hers. "I thin\s we'd like to go," he said doubtfully: "only 
please let's go all together. It's best to be on the safe side, 
00 know!" 

"Why, you talk as if you were SylvieT exclaimed the 

"I know I did," Bruno replied very humbly. "I quite 
forgotted I wasn't Sylvie. Only I fought he might be 
rarver fierce!" 

The Professor laughed a jolly laugh. "Oh, he's quite 
tame!" he said. "He never bites. He's only a little — a little 
dreamy^ you know." He took hold of Bruno's other hand, 
and led the children down a long passage I had never 
noticed before — not that there was anything remarkable 
in that: I was constantly coming on new rooms and pas- 
sages in that mysterious Palace, and very seldom suc- 
ceeded in finding the old ones again. 

Near the end of the passage the Professor stopped. 
"This is his room," he said, pointing to the solid wall. 

"We ca'n't get in through therer Bruno exclaimed. 


Sylvie said nothing, till she had carefully examined 
whether the wall opened anywhere. Then she laughed 
merrily. "You're playing us a trick, you dear old thing!" 
she said. "There's no door here!" 

"There isn't any door to the room," said the Professor. 
"We shall have to climb in at the window." 

So we went into the garden, and soon found the win- 
dow of the Other Professor's room. It was a ground-floor 
window, and stood invitingly open: the Professor first 
lifted the two children in, and then he and I climbed in 
after them. 

The Other Professor was seated at a table, with a large 
book open before him, on which his forehead was rest- 
ing: he had clasped his arms round the book, and was 
snoring heavily. "He usually reads like that," the Profes- 
sor remarked, "when the book's very interesting: and then 
sometimes it's very difficult to get him to attend!" 

This seemed to be one of the difficult times: the Pro- 
fessor lifted him up, once or twice, and shook him violent- 
ly: but he always returned to his book the moment he 
was let go of, and showed by his heavy breathing that 
the book was as interesting as ever. 

"How dreamy he is!" the Professor exclaimed. "He 
must have got to a very interesting part of the book!" And 
he rained quite a shower of thumps on the Other Pro- 
fessor's back, shouting "Hoy! Hoy!" all the time. "Isn't it 
wonderful that he should be so dreamy?" he said to 

"If he's always as sleepy as that," Bruno remarked, "a 
course he's dreamy!" 

"But what are we to do?'' said the Professor." You see 
he's quite wrapped up in the book!" 

"Suppose oo shuts the book?" Bruno suggested. 

"That's it!" cried the delighted Professor. "Of course 


that'll do it!" And he shut up the book so quickly that 
he caught the Other Professor's nose between the leaves, 
and gave it a severe pinch. ^ 

The Other Professor instantly rose to his feet, and car- 
ried the book away to the end of the room, where he put 
it back in its place in the book-case. "I've been reading 
for eighteen hours and three-quarters," he said, "and now 
I shall rest for fourteen minutes and a half. Is the Lec- 
ture all ready .f^" 

"Very nearly," the Professor humbly replied. "I shall 
ask you to give me a hint or two — there will be a few 
little difficulties — " 

"And a Banquet, I think you said?" 

"Oh, yes! The Banquet comes first, of course. People 
never enjoy Abstract Science, you know, when they're 
ravenous with hunger. And then there's the Fancy-Dress- 
Ball. Oh, there'll be lots of entertainment!" 

"Where will the Ball come in?" said the Other Pro- 

"I thin\ it had better come at the beginning of the 
Banquet — it brings people together so nicely, you know." 

"Yes, that's the right order. First the Meeting: then the 
Eating: then the Treating — for I'm sure any Lecture you 
give us will be a treat!" said the Other Professor, who 
had been standing with his back to us all this time, oc- 
cupying himself in taking the books out, one by one, and 
turning them upside-down. An easel, with a black board 
on it, stood near him: and, every time that he turned a 
book upside-down, he made a mark on the board with a 
piece of chalk. 

"And as to the Tig-Tale' — which you have so kindly 
promised to give us — " the Professor went on, thought- 
fully rubbing his chin. "I think that had better come at 


the end of the Banquet: then people can Usten to it 

"Shall I sing it?" the Other Professor asked, with a 
smile of delight. 

"If you cany' the Professor replied, cautiously. 

"Let me try," said the Other Professor, seating himself 
at the pianoforte. "For the sake of argument, let us as- 
sume that it begins on A flat." And he struck the note in 
question. "La, la, la! I think that's within an octave of 
it." He struck the note again, and appealed to Bruno, 
who was standing at his side. "Did I sing it like that^ my 

"No, 00 didn't," Bruno replied with great decision. "It 
were more like a duck." 

"Single notes are apt to have that eflEect," the Other 
Professor said with a sigh. "Let me try a whole verse. 

There was a Pig, that sat alone, 

Beside a ruined Pump. 
By day and night he made his moan: 
It would have stirred a heart of stone 
To see him wring his hoofs and groan. 

Because he could not jump. 

Would you call that a tune, Professor?" he asked, when 
he had finished. 

The Professor considered a little. "Well/' he said at 
last, "some of the notes are the same as others — and some 
are different — but I should hardly call it a tuneT 

"Let me try it a bit by myself," said the Other Profes- 
sor. And he began touching the notes here and there, 
and humming to himself like an angry bluebottle. 

"How do you like his singing?" the Professor asked the 
children in a low voice. 




It isn't very beautiful^' Sylvie said, hesitatingly. 
It's very extremely ugly!'' Bruno said, without any 
hesitation at all. 

All extremes are bad," the Professor said, very gravely. 
For instance. Sobriety is a very good thing, when prac- 
tised in moderation: but even Sobriety, when carried to 
an extreme^ has its disadvantages." 

"What are its disadvantages?" was the question that 
rose in my mind — and, as usual, Bruno asked it for me. 
"What are its lizard bandages?" 

"Well, this is one of them," said the Professor. "When a 
man's tipsy (that's one extreme, you know), he sees one 
thing or two. But, when he's extremely sober (that's the 
other extreme), he sees two things as one. It's equally in- 
convenient, whichever happens." 

"What does 'illconvenient' mean?" Bruno whispered to 

"The difference between 'convenient' and *inconven- 
ient' is best explained by an example," said the Other Pro- 
fessor, who had overheard the question. "If you'll just 
think over any Poem that contains the two words — such 


The Professor put his hands over his ears, with a look of 
dismay. "If you once let him begin a Poem,'' he said to 
Sylvie, "he'll never leave off again! He never does!" 

"Did he ever begin a Poem and not leave of? again?" 
Sylvie enquired. 

"Three times," said the Professor. 

Bruno raised himself on tiptoe, till his lips were on a 
level with Sylvie's ear. "What became of them three 
Poems?" he whispered. "Is he saying them all now?" 

"Hush!" said Sylvie. "The Other Professor is speaking!" 

"I'll say it very quick," murmured the Other Professor, 
with downcast eyes, and melancholy voice, which con- 


trasted oddly with his face, as he had forgotten to leave off 
smiling. ("At least it wasn't exactly a smile^'' as Sylvie said 
afterwards: "it looked as if his mouth was made that 

"Go on then/' said the Professor. '''What must be must 

"Remember that!" Sylvie whispered to Bruno. "It's a 
very good rule for whenever you hurt yourself." 

"And it's a very good rule for whenever I make a 
noise," said the saucy little fellow. "So you remember it 
too, Miss!" 

"Whatever do you mean?" said Sylvie, trying to frown, 
a thing she never managed particularly well. 

"Oftens and oftens," said Bruno, "haven't 00 told me 
'There mustn't be so much noise, Bruno!' when I've told- 
ed 00 *There must!' Why, there isn't no rules at all about 
*There mustn't'! But 00 never believes meT 

"As if any one could believe you, you wicked wicked 
boy!" said Sylvie. The tuords were severe enough, but I 
am of opinion that, when you are really anxious to im- 
press a criminal with a sense of his guilt, you ought not to 
pronounce the sentence with your lips quite close to his 
cheek — since a kiss at the end of it, however accidental, 
weakens the effect terribly. 

Chapter XI 

Peter and Paul 

As I was saying," the Other Professor resumed, "if you'll 
just think over any Poem, that contains the words — such 


'Peter is poor/ said noble Paul, 

* And I have always been his friend: 
And, though my means to give are small, 

At least 1 can afford to lend. 
Hotv jew, in this cold age of greed, 

Do good, except on selfish grounds! 
But I can feel for Peter s need. 


How great was Peter s joy to find 

His friend in such a genial vein! 
How cheerfully the bond he signed, 

To pay the money bac\ again! 
'We cant/ said Paul, 'be too precise: 

'Tis best to fix the very day: 
Sa, by a learned friend's advice, 

I've made it Noon, the Fourth of May! 

'But this is April!' Peter said. 

'The First of April, as I thin\. 
Five little wee\s will soon be fled: 

One scarcely will have time to win\l 
Give me a year to speculate — 

To buy and sell — to drive a trade — ' 
Said Paul 7 cannot change the date. 

On May the Fourth it must be paid.' 

'Well, well!' said Peter, with a sigh. 

'Hand me the cash, and I will go. 
I'll form a ]oint-Stoc\ Company, 

And turn an honest pound or so.' 
'I'm grieved,' said Paul, 'to seem un\ind: 

The money shall of course be lent: 
But, for a wee\ or. two, I find 

It will not be convenient.' 


So, wee\ by wee\, poor Peter came 

And turned in heaviness away; 
For still the answer was the same, 

7 cannot manage it to-day.' 
And now the April showers were dry — 

The five short wee\s were nearly spent — 
Yet still he got the old reply, 

'It is not quite convenientV 

The Fourth arrived, and punctual Paul 

Came, with his legal friend, at noon, 
7 thought it best,' said he, *to call: 

One cannot settle things too soon! 
Poor Peter shuddered in despair: 

His flowing locf^s he wildly tore: 
And very soon his yellow hair 

Was lying all about the floor. 

The legal friend was standing by. 

With sudden pity half unmanned: 
The tear-drop trembled in his eye. 

The signed agreement in his hand: 
But when at length the legal soul 

Resumed its customary force, 
*The haw' he said, *we cant control: 

Pay, or the haw must take its course!' 

Said Paul 'How bitterly I rue 

That fatal morning when I called! 
Consider, Peter, what you do! 

You won't be richer when you're bald! 
Thinl{^ you, by rending curls away. 

To ma\e your difficulties less? 
Forbear this violence, I pray: 

You do but add to my distress!' 


*Not willingly would I inflict/ 

Said Peter, *on that noble heart 
One needless pang. Yet why so strict? 

Is this to act a friendly part? 
However legal it may be 

To pay what never has been lent. 
This style of business seems to me 

Extremely inconvenientl 

*No Nobleness of soul have I, 

Lil{e some that in this Age are found T 
(Paul blushed in sheer humility, 

And cast his eyes upon the ground.) 
'This debt will simply swallow all, 

And ma\e my life a life of woe!' 
'Nay, nay, my Peter!' answered Paul, 

'You must not rail on Fortune so! 

'You have enough to eat and drin\: 

You are respected in the world: 
And at the barber s, as I thin\. 

You often get your whis\ers curled. 
Though Nobleness you cant attain — 

To any very great extent — 
The path of Honesty is plain, 

However inconvenient!* 

' 'Tis true,' said Peter, 'I'm. alive: 

I \eep my station in the world: 
Once in the wee\ I just contrive 

To get my whis\ers oiled and curled. 
But my assets are very low: 

My little income's overspent: 
To trench on capital, you }{now. 

Is always inconvenient!' 


'But pay your debts!' cried honest Paul, 

'My gentle Peter, pay your debts! 
What matter if it swallows all 

That you describe as your ''assets*' ? 
Already you re an hour behind: 

Yet Generosity is best. 
It pinches me — but never mind! 


'How good! How great!' poor Peter cried, 

'Yet I must sell my Sunday wig — 
The scarf-pin that has been my pride — 

My grand piano — and my pig!' 
Full soon his property too\ wings: 

And daily, as each treasure went, 
He sighed to find the state of things 

Grow less and less convenient, 

Wee\s grew to months, and months to years: 

Peter was worn to s\in and bone: 
And once he even said, with tears, 

'Remember, Paul, that promised Loan!' 
Said Paul 'I'll lend you, when I can. 

All the spare money I have got — 
Ah, Peter, you're a happy man! 

Yours is an enviable lot! 

'I'm getting stout, as you may see: 

It is but seldom I am well: 
I cannot feel my ancient glee 

In listening to the dinner-bell: 
But you, you gambol li\e a boy, 

Your figure is so spare and light: 
The dinner-bell' s a note of joy 

To such a healthy appetite!' 


Said Peter 7 am well aware 

Mine is a state of happiness: 
And yet how gladly could I spare 

Some of the comforts I possess! 
What you call healthy appetite 

I feel as Hunger s savage tooth: 
And, when no dinner is in sight, 

The dinner-bell's a sound of rut hi 

'No scare-crow would accept this coat: 

Such boots as these you seldom, see, 
Ah, Paul, a single five-pound-note 

Would ma\e another man of me!' 
Said Paul 'It fills me with surprise 

To hear you tal\ in such a tone: 
I fear you scarcely realise 

The blessings that are all your own! 

'You're safe from being overfed: 

You're sweetly picturesque in rags: 
You never \now the aching head 

That comes along with money-bags: 
And you have time to cultivate 

That best of qualities, Content — 
For which you'll find your present state 

Remarkably convenient!' 

Said Peter 'Though I cannot sound 

The depths of such a man as you. 
Yet in your character I've found 

An inconsistency or two. 
You seem to have long years to spare 

When there's a promise to fulfil: 
And yet how punctual you were 

In calling with that little bill!' 


*One cant be too deliberate' 

Said Paul, 'in parting with one's pelf. 
With bills, as you correctly state, 

I'm punctuality itself. 
A man may surely claim his dues: 

But, when there's money to be lent, 
A man must be allowed to choose 

Such times as are convenientV 

It chanced one day, as Peter sat 

Gnawing a crust — his usual meal — 
Paul bustled in to have a chat. 

And grasped his hand with friendly zeal, 
7 \new,' said he, 'your frugal ways: 

So, that I might not wound your pride 
By bringing strangers in to gaze, 

I've left my legal friend outside! 

'You well remember, I am sure. 

When first your wealth began to go. 
And people sneered at one so poor, 

I never used my Peter sol 
And when you'd lost your little all. 

And found yourself a thing despised, 
I need not as^ you to recall 

How tenderly I sympathised! 

'Then the advice I've poured on you, 

So full of wisdom and of wit: 
All given gratis, though 'tis true 

I might have fairly charged for it! 
But I refrain from mentioning 

Full many a deed I might relate — 
For boasting is a \ind of thing 

That 1 particularly hate. 


*How vast the total sum appears 

Of all the \indnesses I've done, 
From Childhood's half -for gotten years 

Down to that Loan of April One! 
That Fifty Pounds! You little guessed 

How deep it drained my slender store: 
But there's a heart within this breast, 


'Not so,' was Peter's mild reply. 

His chee\s all wet with grateful tears: 
*No man recalls, so well as I, 

Your services in bygone years: 
And this new o^er, I admit, 

Is very very \indly meant — 
Still, to avail myself of it 

Would not be quite convenient!' 

"You'll see in a moment what the difference is between 
'convenient' and 'inconvenient.' You quite understand it 
now, don't you?" he added, looking kindly at Bruno, who 
was sitting, at Sylvie's side, on the floor. 

"Yes," said Bruno, very quietly. Such a short speech was 
very unusual, for him: but just then he seemed, I fancied, 
a little exhausted. In fact, he climbed up into Sylvie's lap 
as he spoke, and rested his head against her shoulder. 
"What a many verses it was!" he whispered. 

Chapter XII 
A Musical Gardener 

The Other Professor regarded him with some anxiety. 
"The smaller animal ought to go to bed at once,'' he said 
with an air of authority. 

"Why at once?'' said the Professor. 

"Because he ca'n't go at twice," said the Other Pro- 

The Professor gently clapped his hands. "Isn't he won^ 
derful!" he said to Sylvie. "Nobody else could have 
thought of the reason, so quick. Why, of course he ca'n't 
go at twice! It would hurt him to be divided." 

This remark woke up Bruno, suddenly and completely. 
"I don't want to be divided^" he said decisively. 

"It does very well on a diagram," said the Other Pro- 
fessor. "I could show it you in a minute, only the chalk's a 
little blunt." 

"Take care!" Sylvie anxiously exclaimed, as he began, 
rather clumsily, to point it. "You'll cut your finger off, if 
you hold the knife so!" 

"If 00 cuts it ojff, will oo give it to me, please?" Bruno 
thoughtfully added. 

"It's like this," said the Other Professor, hastily drawing 
a long line upon the black board, and marking the letters 
"y4," "jB," at the two ends, and "C" in the middle: "let me 
explain it to you. If AB were to be divided into two parts 
at C— " 

"It would be drownded," Bruno pronounced confi- 

The Other Professor gasped. ''What would be drown- 



"Why the bumble-bee, of course!" said Bruno. "And the 
two bits would sink down in the sea!" 

Here the Professor interfered, as the Other Professor 
was evidently too much puzzled to go on with his dia- 

"When I said it would hurt him, I was merely referring 
to the action of the nerves — " 

The Other Professor brightened up in a moment. "The 
action of the nerves," he began eagerly, "is curiously slow 
in some people. I had a friend, once, that if you burnt him 
with a red-hot poker, it would take years and years before 
he felt it!" 

'And if you only pinched him?" queried Sylvie. 

Then it would take ever so much longer, of course. In 
fact, I doubt if the man himself would ever feel it, at all. 
His grandchildren might." 

"I wouldn't like to be the grandchild of a pinched 
grandfather, would you^ Mister Sir?" Bruno whispered. 
"It might come just when you wanted to be happy!" 

That would be awkward, I admitted, taking it quite as 
a matter of course that he had so suddenly caught sight of 
me. "But don't you always want to be happy, Bruno?" 

"Not always^'' Bruno said thoughtfully. "Sometimes, 
when I's too happy, I wants to be a little miserable. Then 
I just tell Sylvie about it, 00 know, and Sylvie sets me 
some lessons. Then it's all right." 

"I'm sorry you don't like lessons," I said. "You should 
copy Sylvie. Shes always as busy as the day is long!" 

"Well, so am IT said Bruno. 

"No, no!" Sylvie corrected him. "You're as busy as the 
day is short!'' 

"Well, what's the difference?" Bruno asked. "Mister 
Sir, isn't the day as short as it's long? I mean, isn't it the 
same length?" 


Never having considered the question in this light, I 
suggested that they had better ask the Professor; and they 
ran off in a moment to appeal to their old friend. The 
Professor left off polishing his spectacles to consider. "My 
dears," he said after a minute, "the day is the same length 
as anything that is the same length as itT And he resumed 
his never-ending task of polishing. 

The children returned, slowly and thoughtfully, to re- 
port his answer. ''Isnt he wise?" Sylvie asked in an awe- 
struck whisper. "If / was as wise as thaty I should have a 
head-ache all day long. I \now I should!" 

"You appear to be talking to somebody — that isn't 
here," the Professor said, turning round to the children.- 
"Who is it?" 

Bruno looked puzzled. "I never talks to nobody when 
he isn't here!" he replied. "It isn't good manners. Oo 
should always wait till he comes, before 00 talks to him!" 

The Professor looked anxiously in my direction, and 
seemed to look through and through me without seeing 
me. "Then who are you talking to?" he said. "There isn't 
anybody here, you know, except the Other Professor — and 
he isn't here!" he added wildly, turning round and round 
like a teetotum. "Children! Help to look for him! Quick! 
He's got lost again!" 

The children were on their feet in a moment. 

"Where shall we look ?" said Sylvie. 

"Anywhere!" shouted the excited Professor. "Only be 
quick about it!" And he began trotting round and round 
the room, lifting up the chairs, and shaking them. 

Bruno took a very small book out of the bookcase, 
opened it, and shook it in imitation of the Professor. "He 
isn't here^'' he said. 

"He cant be there, Bruno!" Sylvie said indignantly. 


"Course he ca'n't!" said Bruno. "I should have shooked 
him out, if he'd been in there!" 

"Has he ever been lost before?" Sylvie enquired, turn- 
ing up a corner of the hearth-rug, and peeping under it. 

"Once before," said the Professor: "he once lost himself 
in a wood — " 

"And couldn't he find his-self again?" said Bruno. 
"Why didn't he shout? He'd be sure to hear his-self, 
'cause he couldn't be far off, oo know." 

"Let's try shouting," said the Professor. 

"What shall we shout?" said Sylvie. 

"On second thoughts, don't shout," the Professor re- 
plied. "The Vice-Warden might hear you. He's getting 
awfully strict!" 

This reminded the poor children of all the troubles, 
about which they had come to their old friend. Bruno sat 
down on the floor and began crying. "He is so cruel!" he 
sobbed. "And he lets Uggug take away all my toys! And 
such horrid meals!" 

"What did you have for dinner to-day?" said the Pro- 

"A little piece of a dead crow," was Bruno's mournful 

"He means rook-pie," Sylvie explained. 

"It were a dead crow," Bruno persisted. "And there 
were a apple-pudding — and Uggug ate it all — and I got 
nuffin but a crust! And I asked for a orange — and — didn't 
get it!" And the poor little fellow buried his face in Syl- 
vie's lap, who kept gently stroking his hair, as she went 
on. "It's all true. Professor dear! They do treat my darling 
Bruno very badly! And they're not kind to me either," 
she added in a lower tone, as if that were a thing of much 
less importance. 

The Professor got out a large red silk handkerchief, and 


wiped his eyes. "I wish I could help you, dear children!" 
he said. "But what can I do?" 

"We know the way to Fairyland — where Father's gone 
— quite well," said Sylvie: "if only the Gardener would let 
us out." 

"Won't he open the door for you?" said the Professor. 

"Not for ^i"," said Sylvie: "but I'm sure he would for 
you. Do come and ask him, Professor dear!" 

"I'll come this minute!" said the Professor. 

Bruno sat up and dried his eyes. ''Isn't he kind, Mister 

"He is indeed^'' said I. But the Professor took no notice 
of my remark. He had put on a beautiful cap with a long 
tassel, and was selecting one of the Other Professor's walk- 
ing sticks, from a stand in the corner of the room. "A 
thick stick in one's hand makes people respectful," he was 
saying to himself. "Come along, dear children!" And we 
all went out into the garden together. 

"I shall address him, first of all," the Professor explained 
as we went along, "with a few playful remarks on the 
weather. I shall then question him about the Other Pro- 
fessor. This will have a double advantage. First, it will 
open the conversation (you can't even drink a bottle of 
wine without opening it first) : and secondly, if he's seen 
the Other Professor, we shall find him that way : and, if he 
hasn't, we sha'n't." 

On our way, we passed the target, at which Uggug had 
been made to shoot during the Ambassador's visit. 

"See!" said the Professor, pointing out a hole in the 
middle of the bull's-eye. "His Imperial Fatness had only 
one shot at it; and he went in just here!'' 

Bruno carefully examined the hole. "Couldn't go in 
there,'' he whispered to me. "He are too fat!" 

We had no sort of difficulty in finding the Gardener. 


Though he was hidden from us by some trees, that harsh 
voice of his served to direct us; and, as we drew nearer, 
the words of his song became more and more plainly 
audible : — 

*'He thought he saw an Albatross 
That fluttered round the lamp: 

He loo\ed again, and found it was 
A Penny-Postage-Stamp. 

'You'd best be getting home,' he said: 
'The nights are very damp!' " 

"Would it be afraid of catching cold?" said Bruno. 

"If it got t^ery damp," Sylvie suggested, "it might stick 
to something, you know." 

"And that somefin would have to go by the post, what- 
ever it was!" Bruno eagerly exclaimed. "Suppose it was a 
cow! Wouldn't it be dreadful for the other things!" 

"And all these things happened to him^'' said the Pro- 
fessor. "That's what makes the song so interesting." 

"He must have had a very curious life," said Sylvie. 

"You may say that!" the Professor heartily rejoined. 

"Of course she may!" cried Bruno. 

By this time we had come up to the Gardener, who was 
standing on one leg, as usual, and busily employed in 
watering a bed of flowers with an empty watering-can. 

"It hasn't got no water in it!" Bruno explained to him, 
pulling his sleeve to attract his attention. 

"It's Hghter to hold," said the Gardener. "A lot of water 
in it makes one's arms ache." And he went on with his 
work, singing softly to himself 

''The nights are very dampl" 

"In digging things out of the ground — which you prob- 
ably do now and then," the Professor began in a loud 


voice; "in making things into heaps — which no doubt 
you often do ; and in kicking things about with one heel — 
which you seem never to leave off doing; have you ever 
happened to notice another Professor, something like me, 
but different?" 

"Never!" shouted the Gardener, so loudly and violently 
that we all drew back in alarm. "There ain't such a 

"We will try a less exciting topic," the Professor mildly 
remarked to the children. "You were asking — " 

"We asked him to let us through the garden-door," said 
Sylvie: "but he wouldn't: but perhaps he would for youT 

The Professor put the request, very humbly and cour- 

"I wouldn't mind letting you out," said the Gardener. 
"But I mustn't open the door for children. D'you think 
I'd disobey the Rules? Not for one-and-sixpence!" 

The Professor cautiously produced a couple of shillings. 

"That'll do it!" the Gardener shouted, as he hurled the 
watering-can across the flower-bed, and produced a hand- 
ful of keys — one large one, and a number of small ones. 

"But look here. Professor dear!" whispered Sylvie. "He 
needn't open the door for us^ at all. We can go out with 

"True, dear child!" the Professor thankfully replied, as 
he replaced the coins in his pocket. "That saves two shill- 
ings!" And he took the children's hands, that they might 
all go out together when the door was opened. This, how- 
ever, did not seem a very likely event, though the Garden- 
er patiently tried all the small keys, over and over again. 

At last the Professor ventured on a gentle suggestion. 
"Why not try the large one? I have often observed that a 
door unlocks much more nicely with its own key." 

The very first trial of the large key proved a success : the 


Gardener opened the door, and held out his hand for th^ 

The Professor shook his head. "You are acting by Rule,'' 
he explained, "in opening the door for me. And now it's 
open, we are going out by Rule — the Rule of Three!' 

The Gardener looked puzzled, and let us go out; but, 
as he locked the door behind us, we heard him singing 
thoughtfully to himself 

"He thought he saw a Garden-Door 

That opened with a \ey: 
He loo\ed again, and found it was 

A Double Rule of Three: 
* And all its mystery! he said, 

*ls clear as day to me!' '' 

"I shall now return," said the Professor, when we had 
walked a few yards : "you see, it's impossible to read here^ 
for all my books are in the house." 

But the children still kept fast hold of his hands. "Do 
come with us!" Sylvie entreated with tears in her eyes. 

"Well, well!" said the good-natured old man. "Perhaps 
I'll come after you, some day soon. But I must go back, 
now. You see I left off at a comma, and it's so awkward 
not knowing how the sentence finishes! Besides, you've 
got to go through Dogland first, and I'm always a little 
nervous about dogs. But it'll be quite easy to come, as soon 
as I've completed my new invention — for carrying one's- 
self, you know. It wants just a little more workmg out." 

"Won't that be very tiring, to carry yourself?'' Sylvie 

"Well, no, my child. You see, whatever fatigue one in- 
curs by carrying, one saves by being carried! Good-bye 
dears! Good-bye, Sir!" he added to my intense surprise, 
giving my hand an aflfectionate squeeze. 


"Good-bye Professor!" I replied: but my voice sounded' 
strange and far away, and the children took not the slight- 
est notice of our farewell. Evidently they neither saw me 
nor heard me, as, with their arms lovingly twined round 
each other, they marched boldly on. 

Chapter XIII 

A Visit to Dogland 

"There's a house, away there to the left," said Sylvie 
after we had walked what seemed to me about fifty miles. 
"Let's go and ask for a night's lodging." 

"It looks a very comfable house," Bruno said, as we 
turned into the road leading up to it. "I doos hope the 
Dogs will be kind to us, I is so tired and hungry!" 

A Mastiff, dressed in a scarlet collar, and carrying a 
musket, was pacing up and down, like a sentinel, in front 
of the entrance. He started, on catching sight of the chil- 
dren, and came forwards to meet them, keeping his mus- 
ket pointed straight at Bruno, who stood quite still, 
though he turned pale and kept tight hold of Sylvie's 
hand, while the Sentinel walked solemnly round and 
round them, and looked at them from all points of view. 

"Oobooh, hooh boohooyah!" He growled at last. "Woo- 
bah yahwah oobooh! Bow wahbah woobooyah? Bow 
wow?" he asked Bruno, severely. 

Of course Bruno understood all this, easily enough. All 
Fairies understand Doggee — that is. Dog-language. But,, 
as you may find it a little difficult, just at first, I had bet- 
ter put it into English for you. "Humans, I verily believe! 
A couple of stray Humans! What Dog do you belong to.^^ 
What do you want.^^" 


"We don't belong to a Dog!'' Bruno began, in Doggee. 
("Peoples net/er belongs to Dogs!" he whispered to Syl- 

But Sylvie hastily checked him, for fear of hurting the 
Mastiff's feelings. "Please, we want a little food, and a 
night's lodging — if there's room in the house," she added 
timidly. Sylvie spoke Doggee very prettily: but I think it's 
almost better, for you, to give the conversation in Eng- 

"The house, indeed!" growled the Sentinel. "Have you 
never seen a Palace in your life? Come along with me! 
His Majesty must settle what's to be done with you." 

They followed him through the entrance-hall, down a 
long passage, and into a magnificent Saloon, around 
which were grouped dogs of all sorts and sizes. Two 
splendid Blood-hounds were solemnly sitting up, one on 
each side of the crown-bearer. Two or three Bull-dogs — 
whom I guessed to be the Body-Guard of the King — were 
waiting in grim silence : in fact the only voices at all plain- 
ly audible were those of two little dogs, who had mounted 
a settee, and were holding a lively discussion that looked 
very like a quarrel. 

"Lords and Ladies in Waiting, and various Court Of- 
ficials," our guide gruffly remarked, as he led us in. Of 
me the Courtiers took no notice whatever: but Sylvie and 
Bruno were the subject of many inquisitive looks, and 
many whispered remarks, of which I only distinctly 
caught one — made by a sly-looking Dachshund to his 
friend — "Bah wooh wahyah hoobah Oobooh, hah bah.f^" 
("She's not such a bad-looking Human, is she?") 

Leaving the new arrivals in the centre of the Saloon, 
the Sentinel advanced to a door, at the further end of it, 
which bore an inscription, painted on it in Doggee, "Royal 
Kennel — Scratch and Yell." 


Before doing this, the Sentinel turned to the children, 
and said "Give me your names." 

"We'd rather not!" Bruno exclaimed, pulling Sylvie 
away from the door. "We want them ourselves. Come 
back, Sylvie! Come quick!" 

"Nonsense!" said Sylvie very decidedly: and gave their 
names in Doggee. 

Then the Sentinel scratched violently at the door, and 
gave a yell that made Bruno shiver from head to foot. 

"Hooyah wah!" said a deep voice inside. (That's Dog- 
gee for "Come in!") 

"It's the King himself!" the Mastiff whispered in an 
awestruck tone. "Take off your wigs, and lay them hum- 
bly at his paws." (What we should call "at his feet.'') 

Sylvie was just going to explain, very politely, that real- 
ly they couldnt perform that ceremony, because their 
wigs wouldn't come of?, when the door of the Royal Ken- 
nel opened, and an enormous Newfoundland Dog put 
his head out. "Bow wow?" was his first question. 

"When His Majesty speaks to you," the Sentinel hastily 
whispered to Bruno, "you should prick up your ears!" 

Bruno looked doubtfully at Sylvie. "I'd rather not, 
please," he said. "It would hurt." 

"It doesn't hurt a bit!" the Sentinel said with some in- 
dignation. "Look! It's like this!" And he pricked up his 
ears like two railway signals. 

Sylvie gently explained matters. "I'm afraid we ca'n't 
manage it," she said in a low voice. "I'm very sorry: but 
our ears haven't got the right — " she wanted to say "ma- 
chinery" in Doggee: but she had forgotten the word, and 
could only think of "steam-engine." 

The Sentinel repeated Sylvie's explanation to the King. 

"Can't prick up their ears without a steam-engine!" His 
Majesty exclaimed. "They must be curious creatures! I 


must have a look at them!" And he came out of his Ken- 
nel, and walked solemnly up to the children. 

What was the amazement — not to say the horror — of 
the whole assembly, when Sylvie actually patted His Ma- 
jesty on the headj while Bruno seized his long ears and 
pretended to tie them together under his chin! 

The Sentinel groaned aloud: a beautiful Greyhound — 
who appeared to be one of the Ladies in Waiting — fainted 
away : and all the other Courtiers hastily drew back, and 
left plenty of room for the huge Newfoundland to spring 
upon the audacious strangers, and tear them limb from 

Only — he didn't. On the contrary his Majesty actually 
smiled — so far as a Dog can smile — and (the other Dogs 
couldn't believe their eyes, but it was true, all the same) 
his Majesty wagged his tail! 

"Yah! Hooh hahwooh!" (that is "Well! I never!") was 
the universal cry. 

His Majesty looked round him severely, and gave a 
slight growl, which produced instant silence. "Conduct 
my friends to the banqueting-hall!" he said, laying such an 
emphasis on ''my friends'' that several of the dogs rolled 
over helplessly on their backs and began to lick Bruno's 

A procession was formed, but I only ventured to follow 
as far as the door of the banqueting-hall, so furious was 
the uproar of barking dogs within. So I sat down by the 
King, who seemed to have gone to sleep, and waited till 
the children returned to say good-night, when His Ma- 
jesty got up and shook himself. 

"Time for bed!" he said with a sleepy yawn. "The at- 
tendants will show you your room," he added, aside, to 
Sylvie and Bruno. "Bring lights!" And, with a dignified 
air, he held out his paw for them to kiss. 


But the children were evidently not well practised in 
Court-manners. Sylvie simply stroked the great paw: 
Bruno hugged it: the Master of Ceremonies looked 

All this time Dog-waiters, in splendid livery, were run- 
ning up with lighted candles : but, as fast as they put them 
upon the table, other waiters ran away with them, so that 
there never seemed to be one for me^ though the Master 
kept nudging me with his elbow, and repeating "I ca'n't 
let you sleep here! You're not in bed, you know!" 

I made a great effort, and just succeeded in getting out 
the words '1 know I'm not. I'm in an arm-chair." 

"Well, forty winks will do you no harm," the Master 
said, and left me. I could scarcely hear his words : and no 
wonder : he was leaning over the side of a ship, that was 
miles away from the pier on which I stood. The ship 
passed over the horizon, and I sank back into the arm- 

The next thing I remember is that it was morning: 
breakfast was just over: Sylvie was lifting Bruno down 
from a high chair, and saying to a Spaniel, who was re- 
garding them with a most benevolent smile, "Yes, thank 
you, we've had a very nice breakfast. Haven't we, 

"There was too many bones in the — " Bruno began, but 
Sylvie frowned at him, and laid her finger on her lips, for, 
at this moment, the travelers were waited on by a very 
dignified officer, the Head-Growler, whose duty it was, 
first to conduct them to the King to bid him farewell, and 
then to escort them to the boundary of Dogland. The 
great Newfoundland received them most affably, but, 
instead of saying "good-bye," he startled the Head-Growl- 
er into giving three savage growls, by announcing that he 
would escort them himself. 


"It is a most unusual proceeding, your Majesty!" the 
Head-Growler exclaimed, almost choking with vexation 
at being set aside, for he had put on his best Court-suit, 
made entirely of cat-skins, for the occasion. 

"I shall escort them myself," his Majesty repeated, gent- 
ly but firmly, laying aside the Royal robes, and changing 
his crown for a small coronet, "and you may stay at 

"I are glad!" Bruno whispered to Sylvie, when they had 
got well out of hearing. "He were so welly cross!" And he 
not only patted their Royal escort, but even hugged him 
round the neck in the exuberance of his delight. 

His Majesty calmly wagged the Royal tail. "It's quite a 
relief," he said, "getting away from that Palace now and 
then! Royal Dogs have a dull life of it, I can tell you! 
Would you mind" (this to Sylvie, in a low voice, and 
looking a little shy and embarrassed) "would you mind 
the trouble of just throwing that stick for me to fetch?" 

Sylvie was too much astonished to do anything for a 
moment: it sounded such a monstrous impossibility that a 
King should wish to run after a stick. But Bruno was 
equal to the occasion, and with a glad shout of "Hi then! 
Fetch it, good Doggie!" he hurled it over a clump of bush- 
es. The next moment the Monarch of Dogland had 
bounded over the bushes, and picked up the stick, and 
came galloping back to the children with it in his mouth. 
Bruno took it from him with great decision. "Beg for it!" 
he insisted; and His Majesty begged. "Paw!" commanded 
Sylvie; and His Majesty gave his paw. In short, the sol- 
emn ceremony of escorting the travelers to the boundaries 
of Dogland became one long uproarious game of play! 

"But business is business!" the Dog-King said at last. 
"And I must go back to mine. I couldn't come any fur- 
ther," he added, consulting a dog-watch, which hung on a 


chain round his neck, "not even if there were a Cat in 

They took an affectionate farewell of His Majesty, and 
trudged on. 

"That were a dear dog!" Bruno exclaimed. "Has we to 
go far, Sylvie? Fs tired!" 

"Not much further, darling!" Sylvie gently replied. 
"Do you see that shining, just beyond those trees? I'm 
almost sure it's the gate of Fairyland! I know it's all gold- 
en — Father told me so — and so bright, so bright!" she 
went on dreamily. 

"It dazzles!" said Bruno, shading his eyes with one lit- 
tle hand, while the other clung tightly to Sylvie's hand, as 
if he were half -alarmed at her strange manner. 

For the child moved on as if walking in her sleep, her 
large eyes gazing into the far distance, and her breath 
coming and going in quick pantings of eager delight. I 
knew, by some mysterious mental light, that a great 
change was taking place in my sweet little friend (for 
such I loved to think her) and that she was passing from 
the condition of a mere Outland Sprite into the true Fairy- 

Upon Bruno the change came later: but it was com- 
pleted in both before they reached the golden gate, 
through which I knew it would be impossible for me to 
follow. I could but stand outside, and take a last look at 
the two sweet children, ere they disappeared within, and 
the golden gate closed with a bang. 

And with such a bang! "It never will shut like any 
other cupboard-door," Arthur explained. "There's some- 
thing wrong with the hinge. However, here's the cake 
and wine. And you've had your forty winks. So you real- 
ly must get off to bed, old man! You're fit for nothing 
else. Witness my hand, Arthur Forester, M.D." 


By this time I was wide-awake again. "Not quite yet!" 
I pleaded. "Really Fm not sleepy now. And it isn't mid- 
night yet." 

"Well, I did want to say another word to you," Arthur 
replied in a relenting tone, as he supplied me with the 
supper he had prescribed. "Only I thought you were too 
sleepy for it to-night." 

We took our midnight meal almost in silence; for an 
unusual nervousness seemed to have seized on my old 

"What kind of a night is it?" he asked, rising and un- 
drawing the window-curtains, apparently to change the 
subject for a minute. I followed him to the window, and 
we stood together, looking out, in silence. 

"When I first spoke to you about — " Arthur began, 
after a long and embarrassing silence, "that is, when we 
first talked about her — for I think it was you that intro- 
duced the subject — my own position in life forbade me to 
do more than worship her from a distance: and I was 
turning over plans for leaving this place finally, and set- 
tling somewhere out of all chance of meeting her again. 
That seemed to be my only chance of usefulness in life." 

"Would that have been wise?" I said. "To leave your- 
self no hope at all?" 

"There was no hope to leave," Arthur firmly replied, 
though his eyes glittered with tears as he gazed upwards 
into the midnight sky, from which one solitary star, the 
glorious "Vega," blazed out in fitful splendour through 
the driving clouds. "She was like that star to me — bright, 
beautiful, and pure, but out of reach, out of reach!" 

He drew the curtains again, and we returned to our 
places by the fireside. 

"What I wanted to tell you was this," he resumed. "I 
heard this evening from my solicitor. I can't go into the 


details of the business, but the upshot is that my worldly 
wealth is much more than I thought, and I am (or shall 
soon be) in a position to offer marriage, without imprud- 
ence, to any lady, even if she brought nothing. I doubt if 
there would be anything on her side: the Earl is poor, I 
believe. But I should have enough for both, even if health 

"I wish you all happiness in your married life!" I cried. 
"Shall you speak to the Earl to-morrow .f^" 

"Not yet awhile," said Arthur. "He is very friendly, but 
I dare not think he means more than that, as yet. And as 
for — as for Lady Muriel, try as I may, I cannot read her 
feelings towards me. If there is love, she is hiding it! No, I 
must wait, I must wait!" 

I did not like to press any further advice on my friend, 
whose judgment, I felt, was so much more sober and 
thoughtful than my own; and we parted without more 
words on the subject that had now absorbed his thoughts, 
nay, his very life. 

The next morning a letter from my solicitor arrived, 
summoning me to town on important business. 

Chapter XIV 

For a full month the business, for which I had returned 
to London, detained me there : and even then it was only 
the urgent advice of my physician that induced me to 
leave it unfinished and pay another visit to Elveston. 

Arthur had written once or twice during the month; 
but in none of his letters was there any mention of Lady 


Muriel. Still, I did not augur ill from his silence : to me it 
looked like the natural action of a lover, who, even while 
his heart was singing "She is mine!", would fear to paint 
his happiness in the cold phrases of a written letter, but 
would wait to tell it by word of mouth. "Yes," I thought, 
"I am to hear his song of triumph from his own lips!" 

The night I arrived we had much to say on other mat- 
ters: and, tired with the journey, I went to bed early, leav- 
ing the happy secret still untold. Next day, however, as 
we chatted on over the remains of luncheon, I ventured to 
put the momentous question, "Well, old friend, you have 
told me nothing of Lady Muriel — nor when the happy 
day is to be?" 

"The happy day," Arthur said, looking unexpectedly 
grave, "is yet in the dim future. We need to know — or, 
rather, she needs to know me better. I know her sweet na- 
ture, thoroughly, by this time. But I dare not speak till I 
I sure that my love is returned." 

"Don't wait too long!" I said gaily. "Faint heart never 
won fair lady!" 

"It is 'faint heart' perhaps. But really I dare not speak 
just yet." 

"But meanwhile," I pleaded, "you are running a risk 
that perhaps you have not thought of. Some other man — " 

"No," said Arthur firmly. "She is heart-whole: I am 
sure of that. Yet, if she loves another better than me, so be 
it! I will not spoil her happiness. The secret shall die with 
me. But she is my first — and my only love!" 

"That is all very beautiful sentiment^' I said, "but it is 
not practical. It is not like you. 

He either fears his fate too much, 

Or his desert is small, 
Who dares not put it to the touch, 

To win or lose it all,'* 


"I dare not ask the question whether there is another!" 
he said passionately. "It would break my heart to know 

"Yet is it wise to leave it unasked ? You must not waste 
your life upon an *if !" 

"I tell you I dare not!" 

"May / find it out for you?" I asked, with the freedom 
of an old friend. 

"N05 no!" he replied with a pained look. "I entreat you 
to say nothing. Let it wait.'' 

"As you please," I said: and judged it best to say no 
more just then. "But this evening," I thought, "I will call 
on the Earl. I may be able to see how the land lies, with- 
out so much as saying a word!" 

It was a very hot afternoon — too hot to go for a walk 
or do anything — or else it wouldn't have happened, I be- 

In the first place, I want to know — dear Child who 
reads this! — why Fairies should always be teaching us to 
do our duty, and lecturing us when we go wrong, and we 
should never teach them anything? You can't mean to 
say that Fairies are never greedy, or selfish, or cross, or 
deceitful, because that would be nonsense, you know. 
Well then, don't you think they might be all the better for 
a little lecturing and punishing now and then ? 

I really don't see why it shouldn't be tried, and I'm al- 
most sure that, if you could only catch a Fairy, and put it 
in the corner, and give it nothing but bread and water for 
a day or two, you'd find it quite an improved character — 
it would take down its conceit a little, at all events. 

The next question is, what is the best time for seeing 
Fairies ? I believe I can tell you all about that. 

The first rule is, that it must be a very hot day — that we 
may consider as settled: and you must be just a little 


sleepy — but not too sleepy to keep your eyes open, mind. 
Well, and you ought to feel a little — what one may call 
*'fairyish" — the Scotch call it "eerie," and perhaps that's a 
prettier word; if you don't know what it means, I'm 
afraid I can hardly explain it; you must wait till you meet 
a Fairy, and then you'll know. 

And the last rule is, that the crickets should not be 
chirping. I can't stop to explain that : you must take it on 
trust for the present. 

So, if all these things happen together, you have a good 
chance of seeing a Fairy — or at least a much better chance 
than if they didn't. 

The first thing I noticed, as I went lazily along through 
an open place in the wood, was a large Beetle lying strug- 
gling on its back, and I went down upon one knee to help 
the poor thing to its feet again. In some things, you know, 
you ca'n't be quite sure what an insect would like: for in- 
stance, I never could quite settle, supposing I were a moth, 
whether I would rather be kept out of the candle, or be 
allowed to fly straight in and get burnt — or again, sup- 
posing I were a spider, I'm not sure if I should be quite 
pleased to have my web torn down, and the fly let loose — 
but I feel quite certain that, if I were a beetle and had 
rolled over on my back, I should always be glad to be 
helped up again. 

So, as I was saying, I had gone down upon one knee 
and was just reaching out a little stick to turn the Beetle 
over, when I saw a sight that made me draw back hastily 
and hold my breath, for fear of making any noise and 
frightening the little creature away. 

Not that she looked as if she would be easily frightened : 
she seemed so good and gentle that I'm sure she would 
never expect that any one could wish to hurt her. She was 


only a few inches high, and was dressed in green, so that 
you really would hardly have noticed her among the long 
grass; and she was so delicate and graceful that she quite 
seemed to belong to the place, almost as if she were one of 
the flowers. I may tell you, besides^ that she had no wings 
(I don't believe in Fairies with wings), and that she had 
quantities of long brown hair and large earnest brown 
eyes, and then I shall have done all I can to give you an 
idea of her. 

Sylvie (I found out her name afterwards) had knelt 
down, just as I was doing, to help the Beetle; but it need- 
ed more than a little stick for her to get it on its legs 
again; it was as much as she could do, with both arms, to 
roll the heavy thing over; and all the while she was talk- 
ing to it, half scolding and half comforting, as a nurse 
might do with a child that had fallen down. 

"There, there! You needn't cry so much about it. You're 
not killed yet — though if you were, you couldn't cry, you 
know, and so it's a general rule against crying, my dear! 
And how did you come to tumble over? But I can see well 
enough how it was — I needn't ask you that — walking over 
sand-pits with your chin in the air, as usual. Of course if 
you go among sand-pits like that, you must expect to 
tumble. You should look." 

The Beetle murmured something that sounded like "I 
did look," and Sylvie went on again. 

"But I know you didn't! You never do! You always 
walk with your chin up — you're so dreadfully conceited. 
Well, let's see how many legs are broken this time. Why, 
none of them, I declare! And what's the good of having 
six legs, my dear, if you can only kick them all about in 
the air when you tumble? Legs are meant to walk with, 
you know. Now don't begin putting out your wings yet; 


I've more to say. Go to the frog that Hves behind that but- 
tercup — give him my compUments — Sylvie's comphments 
— can you say 'comphments'?" 

The Beetle tried and, I suppose, succeeded. 

"Yes, that's right. And tell him he's to give you some of 
that salve I left v^ith him yesterday. And you'd better get 
him to rub it in for you. He's got rather cold hands, but 
you mustn't mind that." 

I think the Beetle must have shuddered at this idea, for 
Sylvie went on in a graver tone. "Now you needn't pre- 
tend to be so particular as all that, as if you were too grand 
to be rubbed by a frog. The fact is, you ought to be very 
much obliged to him. Suppose you could get nobody but 
a toad to do it, how would you like that?'' 

There was a little pause, and then Sylvie added "Now 
you may go. Be a good beetle, and don't keep your chin 
in the air." And then began one of those performances of 
humming, and whizzing, and restless banging about, such 
as a beetle indulges in when it has decided on flying, but 
hasn't quite made up its mind which way to go. At last, 
in one of its awkward zig-zags, it managed to fly right 
into my face, and, by the time I had recovered from the 
shock, the little Fairy was gone. 

I looked about in all directions for the little creature, 
but there was no trace of her — and my "eerie" feeling was 
quite gone off, and the crickets were chirping again mer- 
rily — so I knew she was really gone. 

And now I've got time to tell you the rule about the 
crickets. They always leave off chirping when a Fairy goes 
by — because a Fairy's a kind of queen over them, I sup- 
pose — at all events it's a much grander thing than a crick- 
et — so whenever you're walking out, and the crickets sud- 
denly leave off chirping, you may be sure that they see a 
Fairy. • 


I walked on sadly enough, you may be sure. However, I 
comforted myself with thinking "It's been a very wonder- 
ful afternoon, so far. I'll just go quietly on and look about 
me, and I shouldn't wonder if I were to come across an- 
other Fairy somewhere." 

Peering about in this way, I happened to notice a plant 
with rounded leaves, and with queer little holes cut in the 
middle of several of them. "Ah, the leafcutter bee!" I 
carelessly remarked — you know I am very learned in Nat- 
ural History (for instance, I can always tell kittens from 
chickens at one glance) — and I was passing on, when a 
sudden thought made me stoop down and examine the 

Then a little thrill of delight ran through me — for I 
noticed that the holes were all arranged so as to form let- 
ters; there were three leaves side by side, with "B," "R," 
and "U" marked on them, and after some search I found 
two more, which contained an "N" and an "O." 

And then, all in a moment, a flash of inner light seemed 
to illumine a part of my life that had all but faded into 
oblivion — the strange visions I had experienced during 
my journey to Elveston: and with a thrill of delight I 
thought "Those visions are destined to be linked with my 
waking life!" 

By this time the "eerie" feeling had come back again, 
and I suddenly observed that no crickets were chirping, so 
I felt quite sure that "Bruno" was somewhere very near. 

And so indeed he was — so near that I had very nearly 
walked over him without seeing him; which would have 
been dreadful, always supposing that Fairies can be 
walked over — my own belief is that they are something of 
the nature of Will-o'-the-Wisps : and there's no walking 
over them. 

Think of any pretty little boy you know, with rosy 


cheeks, large dark eyes, and tangled brown hair, and then 
fancy him made small enough to go comfortably into a 
coflEee-cup, and you'll have a very fair idea of him. 

"What's your name, little one?" I began, in as soft a 
voice as I could manage. And, by the way, why is it we 
always begin by asking little children their names? Is it 
because we fancy a name will help to make them a little 
bigger ? You never thought of asking a real large man his 
name, now, did you? But, however that may be, I felt it 
quite necessary to know his name; so, as he didn't answer 
my question, I asked it again a little louder. "What's your 
name, my little man?" 

"What's oors?" he said, without looking up. 

I told him my name quite gently, for he was much too 
small to be angry with. 

"Duke of Anything?" he asked, just looking at me for 
a moment, and then going on with his work. 

"Not Duke at all," I said, a little ashamed of having to 
confess it. 

"Oo're big enough to be two Dukes," said the little 
creature. "I suppose oo're Sir Something, then?" 

"No," I said, feeling more and more ashamed. "I 
haven't got any title." 

The Fairy seemed to think that in that case I really 
wasn't worth the trouble of talking to, for he quietly went 
on digging, and tearing the flowers to pieces. 

After a few minutes I tried again. ''Please tell me what 
your name is." 

"Bruno," the little fellow answered, very readily. "Why 
didn't oo say 'please' before?" 

"That's something like what we used to be taught in 
the nursery," I thought to myself, looking back through 
the long years (about a hundred of them, since you ask 
the question), to the time when I was a little child. And 


here an idea came into my head, and I asked him "Aren't 
you one of the Fairies that teach children to be good?" 

"Well, we have to do that sometimes," said Bruno, "and 
a dreadful bother it is." As he said this, he savagely tore a 
heartsease in two, and trampled on the pieces. 

"What are you doing there, Bruno?" I said. 

"Spoiling Sylvie's garden," was all the answer Bruno 
would give at first. But, as he went on tearing up the 
flowers, he muttered to himself "The nasty cross thing — 
wouldn't let me go and play this morning — said I must 
finish my lessons first — lessons, indeed! Fll vex her finely, 

"Oh, Bruno, you shouldn't do that!" I cried. "Don't you 
know that's revenge? And revenge is a wicked, cruel, 
dangerous thing!" 

"River-edge?" said Bruno. "What a funny word! I sup- 
pose oo call it cruel and dangerous 'cause, if oo wented 
too far and tumbleded in, oo'd get drownded." 

"No, not river-edge," I explained: "revenge" (saying 
the word very slowly). But I couldn't help thinking that 
Bruno's explanation did very well for either word. 

"Oh!" said Bruno, opening his eyes very wide, but with- 
out trying to repeat the word. 

"Come! Try to pronounce it, Bruno!" I said, cheerfully. 
"Re-venge, re-venge." 

But Bruno only tossed his little head, and said he 
couldn't; that his mouth wasn't the right shape for words 
of that kind. And the more I laughed, the more sulky the 
little fellow got about it. 

"Well, never mind, my little man!" I said. "Shall I 
help you with that job?" 

"Yes, please," Bruno said, quite pacified. "Only I wiss I 
could think of somefin to vex her more than this. Oo 
don't know how hard it is to make her angry!" 


"Now listen to me, Bruno, and I'll teach you quite a 
splendid kind of revenge!" 

"Somefin that'll vex her finely?" he asked with gleam- 
ing eyes. 

"Something that will vex her finely. First, we'll get up 
all the weeds in her garden. See, there are a good many at 
this end — quite hiding the flowers." 

"But that won't vex her!" saia Bruno. 

"After that," I said, without noticing the remark, "we'll 
water this highest bed — up here. You see it's getting quite 
dry and dusty." 

Bruno looked at me inquisitively, but he said nothing 
this time. 

"Then after that," I went on, "the walks want sweeping 
a bit; and I think you might cut down that tall nettle — 
it's so close to the garden that it's quite in the way — " 

"What is oo talking about?" Bruno impatiently inter- 
rupted me. "All that won't vex her a bit!" 

"Won't it?" I said, innocently. "Then, after that, sup- 
pose we put in some of these coloured pebbles — just to 
mark the divisions between the different kinds of flowers, 
you know. That'll have a very pretty effect." 

Bruno turned round and had another good stare at me. 
At last there came an odd little twinkle into his eyes, and 
he said, with quite a new meaning in his voice, "That'll 
do nicely. Let's put 'em in rows — all the red together, and 
all the blue together." 

"That'll do capitally," I said; "and then — what kind of 
flowers does Sylvie like best?" 

Bruno had to put his thumb in his mouth and consider 
a little before he could answer. "Violets," he said, at last. 

"There's a beautiful bed of violets down by the 
brook — " 

"Oh, let's fetch 'em!" cried Bruno, giving a little skip 


into the air. "Here! Catch hold of my hand, and I'll help 
oo along. The grass is rather thick down that way." 

I couldn't help laughing at his having so entirely for- 
gotten what a big creature he was talking to. "No, not yet, 
Bruno," I said: "we must consider what's the right thing 
\o do first. You see we've got quite a business before us." 

"Yes, let's consider," said Bruno, putting his thumb into 
his mouth again, and sitting down upon a dead mouse! 

"What do you keep that mouse for?" I said. "You 
should either bury it, or else throw it into the brook." 

"Why, it's to measure with!" cried Bruno. "How ever 
would oo do a garden without one? We make each bed 
three mouses and a half long, and two mouses wide." 

I stopped him, as he was dragging it oflf by the tail to 
show me how it was used, for I was half afraid the "eerie" 
feeling might go oflf before we had finished the garden, 
and in that case I should see no more of him or Sylvie. "I 
think the best way will be for you to weed the beds, while 
/ sort out these pebbles, ready to mark the walks with." 

"That's it!" cried Bruno. "And I'll tell oo about the 
caterpillars while we work." 

"Ah, let's hear about the caterpillars," I said as I drew 
the pebbles together into a heap and began dividing them 
into colours. 

And Bruno went on in a low, rapid tone, more as if he 
were talking to himself. "Yesterday I saw two little cater- 
pillars, when I was sitting by the brook, just where oo go 
into the wood. They were quite green, and they had yel- 
low eyes, and they didn't see me. And one of them had 
got a moth's wing to carry — a great brown moth's wing, 
oo know, all dry, with feathers. So he couldn't want it to 
eat, I should think — perhaps he meant to make a cloak for 
the winter?" 

"Perhaps," I said, for Bruno had twisted up the last 


word into a sort of question, and was looking at me for an 

One word was quite enough for the little fellow, and he 
went on merrily. "Well, and so he didn't want the other 
caterpillar to see the moth's wing, 00 know — so what 
must he do but try to carry it with all his left legs, and he 
tried to walk on the other set. Of course he toppled over 
after that." 

"After what?" I said, catching at the last word, for, to 
tell the truth, I hadn't been attending much. 

"He tbppled over," Bruno repeated, very gravely, "and 
if 00 ever saw a caterpillar topple over, oo'd know it's a 
welly serious thing, and not sit grinning like that — and I 
sha'n't tell 00 no more!" 

"Indeed and indeed, Bruno, I didn't mean to grin. See, 
I'm quite grave again now." 

But Bruno only folded his arms, and said "Don't tell 
me,l see a little twinkle in one of oor eyes — ^just like the 


"Why do you think I'm like the moon, Bruno?" I 

"Oor face is large and round like the moon," Bruno an- 
swered, looking at me thoughtfully. "It doesn't shine 
quite so bright — but it's more cleaner." 

I couldn't help smiling at this. "You know I sometimes 
wash my face, Bruno. The moon never does that." 

"Oh, doosn't she though!" cried Bruno; and he leant 
forwards and added in a solemn whisper, "The moon's 
face gets dirtier and dirtier every night, till it's black all 
across. And then, when it's dirty all over — so — " (he 
passed his hand across his own rosy cheeks as he spoke) 
*'then she washes it." 

"Then it's all clean again, isn't it?" 

"Not all in a moment," said Bruno. "What a deal of 


teaching oo wants! She washes it Httle by Httle — only she 
begins at the other edge, oo know. 

By this time he was sitting quietly on the dead mouse 
with his arms folded, and the weeding wasn't getting on a 
bit: so I had to say "Work first, pleasure afterwards: no 
more talking till that bed's finished." 

Chapter XV 
Bruno's Revenge 

After that we had a few minutes of silence, while I 
sorted out the pebbles, and amused myself with watching 
Bruno's plan of gardening. It was quite a new plan to me: 
he always measured each bed before he weeded it, as if he 
was afraid the weeding would make it shrink; and once, 
when it came out longer than he wished, he set to work to 
thump the mouse with his little fist, crying out "There 
now! It's all gone wrong again! Why don't oo keep oor 
tail straight when I tell oo!" 

"I'll tell you what I'll do," Bruno said in a half-whisper, 
as we worked. "Oo like Fairies, don't oo.^^" 

"Yes," I said : "of course I do, or I shouldn't have come 
here. I should have gone to some place where there are no 

Bruno laughed contemptuously. "Why, oo might as 
well say oo'd go to some place where there wasn't any air 
— supposing oo didn't like air!" 

This was a rather difficult idea to grasp. I tried a 
change of subject. "You're nearly the first Fairy I ever 
saw. Have you ever seen any people besides me?" 

"Plenty!" said Bruno. "We see 'em when we walk in 
the road." 


"But they ca'n't see you. How is it they never tread on 
you r 

"Ca'n't tread on us/' said Bruno, looking amused at my 
ignorance. "Why, suppose oo're walking, here — so — " 
(making little marks on the ground) "and suppose there's 
a Fairy — that's me — walking here. Very well then, 00 put 
one foot here, and one foot here, and so 00 doesn't tread 
on the Fairy." 

This was all very well as an explanation, but it didn't 
convince me. "Why shouldn't I put one foot on the 
Fairy?" I asked. 

"I don't know why^' the little fellow said in a thought- 
ful tone. "But I know 00 wouldn't. Nobody never walked 
on the top of a Fairy. Now I'll tell 00 what I'll do, as 
oo're so fond of Fairies. I'll get 00 an invitation to the 
Fairy-King's dinner-party. I know one of the head- 

I couldn't help laughing at this idea. "Do the waiters 
invite the guests?" I asked. 

"Oh, not to sit downT Bruno said. "But to wait at 
table- Oo'd like that, wouldn't 00 ? To hand about plates, 
and so on." 

"Well, but that's not so nice as sitting at the table, is it?" 

"Of course it isn't," Bruno said, in a tone as if he rather 
pitied my ignorance; "but if oo're not even Sir Anything, 
00 ca'n't expect to be allowed to sit at the table, 00 know." 

I said, as meekly as I could, that I didn't expect it, but 
it was the only way of going to a dinner-party that I real- 
ly enjoyed. And Bruno tossed his head, and said, in a rath- 
er offended tone, that I might do as I pleased — there were 
many he knew that would give their ears to go. 

"Have you ever been yourself, Bruno?" 

"They invited me once, last week," Bruno said, very 
gravely. "It was to wash up the soup-plates — no, the 


cheese-plates I mean — that was grand enough. And I 
waited at table. And I didn't hardly make only one mis- 

"What was it?" I said. "You needn't mind telling m^." 

"Only bringing scissors to cut the beef with," Bruno 
said carelessly. "But the grandest thing of all was, / 
fetched the King a glass of cider!" 

"That was grand!" I said, biting my lip to keep myself 
from laughing. 

"Wasn't it?" said Bruno, very earnestly. "Oo know it 
isn't every one that's had such an honour as thatr 

This set me thinking of the various queer things we 
call "an honour" in this world, but which, after all, have- 
n't a bit more honour in them than what Bruno enjoyed,, 
when he took the King a glass of cider. 

I don't know how long I might not have dreamed on in 
this way, if Bruno hadn't suddenly roused me. "Oh come 
here quick!" he cried, in a state of the wildest excitement. 
"Catch hold of his other horn! I can't hold him more thaa 
a minute!" 

He was struggling desperately with a great snail, cling- 
ing to one of its horns, and nearly breaking his poor little 
back in his efforts to drag it over a blade of grass. 

I saw we should have no more gardening if I let this 
sort of thing go on, so I quietly took the snail away, and 
put it on a bank where he couldn't reach it. "We'll hunt 
it afterwards, Bruno," I said, "if you really want to catchi 
it. But what's the use of it when you've got it?" 

"What's the use of a fox when oo've got it?" said Bruno. 
"I know oo big things hunt foxes." 

I tried to think of some good reason why "big things" 
should hunt foxes, and he should not hunt snails, but none 
came into my head : so I said at last, "Well, I suppose one's, 


as good as the other. I'll go snail-hunting myself some 

"I should think oo wouldn't be so silly," said Bruno, "as 
to go snail-hunting by oorself. Why, oo'd never get the 
snail along, if oo hadn't somebody to hold on to his other 

"Of course I sha'n't go alone'' I said, quite gravely. "By 
the v^ay, is that the best kind to hunt, or do you recom- 
mend the ones without shells?" 

"Oh, no, we never hunt the ones without shells," Bruno 
said, with a little shudder at the thought of it. "They're al- 
ways so cross about it; and then, if oo tumbles over them, 
they're ever so sticky!" 

By this time we had nearly finished the garden. I had 
fetched some violets, and Bruno was just helping me to 
put in the last, when he suddenly stopped and said "I'm 

"Rest then," I said: "I can go on without you, quite 

Bruno needed no second invitation: he at once began 
arranging the dead mouse as a kind of sofa. "And I'll sing 
oo a little song," he said, as he rolled it about. 

"Do," said I : "I like songs very much." 

"Which song will oo choose .f^" Bruno said, as he drag- 
ged the mouse into a place where he could get a good view 
of me. " 'Ting, ting, ting' is the nicest." 

There was no resisting such a strong hint as this : how- 
ever, I pretended to think about it for a moment, and then 
said "Well, I like 'Ting, ting, ting,' best of all." 

"That shows oo're a good judge of music," Bruno said, 
with a pleased look. "How many hare-bells would oo 
like.^" And he put his thumb into his mouth to help me 
to consider. 

As there was only one cluster of hare-bells within easy 


reach, I said very gravely that I thought one would do 
this time, and I picked it and gave it to him. Bruno ran 
his hand once or twice up and down the flowers, like a 
musician trying an instrument, producing a most deli- 
cious delicate tinkling as he did so. I had never heard 
flower-music before — I don't think one can, unless one's 
in the "eerie" state — and I don't know quite how to give 
you an idea of what it was like, except by saying that it 
sounded like a peal of bells a thousand miles oflf. When he 
had satisfied himself that the flowers were in tune, he 
seated himself on the dead mouse (he never seemed real- 
ly comfortable anywhere else), and, looking up at me 
with a merry twinkle in his eyes, he began. By the way, 
the tune was rather a curious one, and you might like to 
try it yourself, so here are the notes. 















"Rise, oh, rise! The daylight dies: 

The owls are hooting, ting, ting, ting! 

WaJ^e, oh, wa\e! Beside the la\e 

The elves are fluting, ting, ting, ting! 

Welcoming our Fairy King, 
We sing, sing, sing!' 

He sang the first four lines briskly and merrily, making 
the hare-bells chime in time with the music; but the last 
two he sang quite slowly and gently, and merely waved 
the flowers backwards and forwards. Then he left off to 


explain. "The Fairy-King is Oberon, and he Uves across 
the lake — and sometimes he comes in a little boat — and 
we go and meet him — and then we sing this song, you 

"And then you go and dine with him?" I said, mis- 

"Oo shouldn't talk," Bruno hastily said: "it interrupts 
the song so." 

I said I wouldn't do it again. 

"I never talk myself when I'm singing," he went on 
very gravely: "so oo shouldn't either." Then he tuned 
the hare-bells once more, and sang : — 

''Hear, oh, hear! From far and near 
The music stealing, ting, ting, ting! 
Fairy bells adown the dells 

Are merrily pealing, ting, ting, ting! 
Welcoming our Fairy King, 
We ring, ring, ring, 

"See, oh, see! On every tree 

What lamps are shining, ting, ting, ting! 
They are eyes of fiery flies 

To light our dining, ting, ting, ting! 
Welcoming our Fairy King 
They swing, swing, swing, 

*' Haste, oh, haste, to ta\e and taste 

The dainties waiting, ting, ting, ting! 
Honey-dew is stored " 

"Hush, Bruno!" I interrupted in a warning whisper. 
She s commgl 

Bruno checked his song, and, as she slowly made her 
way through the long grass, he suddenly rushed out head- 
long at her like a little bull, shouting "Look the other 
way! Look the other way!" 


"Which way?" Sylvie asked, in rather a frightened 
tone, as she looked round in all directions to see where the 
danger could be. 

"That way!" said Bruno, carefully turning her round 
with her face to the wood. "Now, walk backwards — walk 
gently — don't be frightened: 00 sha'n't trip!" 

But Sylvie did trip notwithstanding: in fact he led her, 
in his hurry, across so many little sticks and stones, that it 
was really a wonder the poor child could keep on her feet 
at all. But he was far too much excited to think of what he 
was doing. 

I silently pointed out to Bruno the best place to lead her 
to, so as to get a view of the whole garden at once : it was 
a little rising ground, about the height of a potato; and, 
when they had mounted it, I drew back into the shade, 
that Sylvie mightn't see me. 

I heard Bruno cry out triumphantly ''Now 00 may 
look!" and then followed a clapping of hands, but it was 
all done by Bruno himself. Sylvie was silent — she only 
stood and gazed with her hands clasped together, and I 
was half afraid she didn't like it after all. 

Bruno too was watching her anxiously, and when she 
jumped down off the mound, and began wandering up 
and down the little walks, he cautiously followed her 
about, evidently anxious that she should form her own 
opinion of it all, without any hint from him. And when 
at last she drew a long breath, and gave her verdict — in a 
hurried whisper, and without the slightest regard to 
grammar — "It's the loveliest thing as I never saw in all 
my life before!" the little fellow looked as well pleased as 
if it had been given by all the judges and juries in Eng- 
land put together. 

"And did you really do it all by yourself, Bruno?" said 
Sylvie. "And all for me?" 


"I was helped a bit," Bruno began, with a merry Httle 
laugh at her surprise. "We've been at it all the afternoon 
— I thought oo'd like — " and here the poor little fellow's 
lip began to quiver, and all in a moment he burst out cry- 
ing, and running up to Sylvie he flung his arms passion- 
ately round her neck, and hid his face on her shoulder. 

There was a little quiver in Sylvie's voice too, as she 
whispered "Why, what's the matter, darling?" and tried 
to lift up his head and kiss him. 

But Bruno only clung to her, sobbing, and wouldn't be 
comforted till he had confessed. "I tried — to spoil oor gar- 
den — first — but I'll never — never — " and then came an- 
other burst of tears, which drowned the rest of the sen- 
tence. At last he got out the words "I liked — putting in 
the flowers — for 00, Sylvie — and I never was so happy be- 
fore." And the rosy little face came up at last to be kissed, 
all wet with tears as it was. 

Sylvie was crying too by this time, and she said nothing 
but "Bruno, dear!" and "/ never was so happy before," 
though why these two children who had never been so 
happy before should both be crying was a mystery to me, 

I felt very happy too, but of course I didn't cry: "big 
things" never do, you know — we leave all that to the 
Fairies. Only I think it must have been raining a little just 
then, for I found a drop or two on my cheeks. 

After that they went through the whole garden again, 
flower by flower, as if it were a long sentence they were 
spelling out, with kisses for commas, and a great hug by 
way of a full-stop when they got to the end. 

"Doos 00 know, that was my river-edge, Sylvie.^" 
Bruno solemnly began. 

Sylvie laughed merrily. "What do you mean?" she said. 
And she pushed back her heavy brown hair with both 


hands, and looked at him with dancing eyes in which the 
big tear-drops were still glittering. 

Bruno drew in a long breath, and made up his mouth for 
a great effort. "I mean re — venge," he said: "now 00 un- 
der'tand." And he looked so happy and proud at having 
said the word right at last, that I quite envied him. I ra- 
ther think Sylvie didn't "under'tand" at all; but she gave 
him a little kiss on each cheek, which seemed to do just as 

So they wandered oflE lovingly together, in among the 
buttercups, each with an arm twined round the other, 
whispering and laughing as they went, and never so much 
as once looked back at poor me. Yes, once, just before I 
quite lost sight of them, Bruno half turned his head, and 
nodded me a saucy little good-bye over one shoulder. And 
that was all the thanks I got for my trouble. The very last 
thing I saw of them was this — Sylvie was stooping down 
with her arms round Bruno's neck, and saying coaxingly 
in his ear, "Do you know, Bruno, I've quite forgotton that 
hard word. Do say it once more. Come! Only this once, 

But Bruno wouldn't try it again. 

Chapter XVI 

A Changed Crocodile 

The Marvellous — the Mysterious — had quite passed out 
of my life for the moment : and the Common-place reign- 
ed supreme. I turned in the direction of the Earl's house, 
as it was now "the witching hour" of five, and I knew I 


should find them ready for a cup of tea and a quiet chat. 

Lady Muriel and her father gave me a delightfully 
warm welcome. They were not of the folk we meet in 
fashionable drawing-rooms — who conceal all such feel- 
ings as they may chance to possess beneath the impene- 
trable mask of a conventional placidity. "The Man with 
the Iron Mask" was, no doubt, a rarity and a marvel in his 
own age: in modern London no one would turn his head 
to give him a second look! No, these were real people. 
When they looked pleased, it meant that they were pleas- 
ed: and when Lady Muriel said, with a bright smile, "I'm 
very glad to see you again!", I knew that it was true. 

Still I did not venture to disobey the injunctions — crazy 
as I felt them to be — of the love-sick young Doctor, by so 
much as alluding to his existence: and it was only after 
they had given me full details of a projected picnic, to 
which they invited me, that Lady Muriel exclaimed, al- 
most as an after-thought, "and do^ if you can, bring Doc- 
tor Forester with you! Fm sure a day in the country 
would do him good. Fm afraid he studies too much — " 

It was "on the tip of my tongue" to quote the words 
**His only books are woman's looks!" but I checked my- 
self just in time — with something of the feeling of one 
who has crossed a street, and has been all but run over by 
a passing "Hansom." 

" — and I think he has too lonely a life," she went on, 
with a gentle earnestness that left no room whatever to 
suspect a double meaning. "Do get him to come! And 
don't forget the day, Tuesday week. We can drive you 
over. It would be a pity to go by rail — there is so much 
pretty scenery on the road. And our open carriage just 
holds four." 

"Oh, ril persuade him to come!" I said with confidence 


— thinking "it would take all my powers of persuasion to 
keep him away!" 

The picnic was to take place in ten days: and though 
Arthur readily accepted the invitation I brought him, 
nothing that I could say would induce him to call — either 
with me or without me — on the Earl and his daughter in 
the meanwhile. No : he feared to "wear out his welcome," 
he said: they had "seen enough of him for one while": 
and, when at last the day for the expedition arrived, he 
was so childishly nervous and uneasy that I thought it best 
so to arrange our plans that we should go separately to the 
house — my intention being to arrive some time after him, 
so as to give him time to get over a meeting. 

With this object I purposely made a considerable circuit 
on my way to the Hall (as we called the Earl's house) : 
"and if I could only manage to lose my way a bit," I 
thought to myself, "that would suit me capitally!" 

In this I succeeded better, and sooner, than I had ven- 
tured to hope for. The path through the wood had been 
made familiar to me, by many a solitary stroll, in my for- 
mer visit to Elveston; and how I could have so suddenly 
and so entirely lost it — even though I was so engrossed in 
thinking of Arthur and his lady-love that I heeded little 
else — was a mystery to me. "And this open place," I said 
to myself, "seems to have some memory about it I cannot 
distinctly recall — surely it is the very spot where I saw 
those Fairy-Children! But I hope there are no snakes 
about!" I mused aloud, taking my seat on a fallen tree. "I 
certainly do not like snakes — and I don't suppose Bruno 
likes them, either!" 

"No, he doesn't like them!" said a demure little voice at 
my side. "He's not afraid of them, you know. But he does- 
n't like them. He says they're too waggly!" 


Words fail me to describe the beauty of the Httle group 
— couched on a patch of moss, on the trunk of the fallen 
tree, that met my eager gaze : Sylvie reclining with her el- 
bow buried in the moss, and her rosy cheek resting in the 
palm of her hand, and Bruno stretched at her feet with his 
head in her lap. 

"Too waggly?" was all I could say in so sudden an 

"I'm not particular," Bruno said, carelessly: "but I do 
like straight animals best — " 

"But you like a dog when it wags its tail," Sylvie inter- 
rupted. "You kjiow you do, Bruno!" 

"But there's more of a dog, isn't there, Mister Sir?" 
Bruno appealed to me. ''You wouldn't like to have a dog 
if it hadn't got nuffin but a head and a tail?" 

I admitted that a dog of that kind would be uninterest- 

"There isn't such a dog as that," Sylvie thoughtfully re- 

"But there would be," cried Bruno, "if the Professor 
shortened it up for us!" 

"Shortened it up?" I said. "That's something new. How 
does he do it?" 

"He's got a curious machine — " Sylvie was beginning to 

"A welly curious machine," Bruno broke in, not at all 
willing to have the story thus taken out of his mouth, 
"and if oo puts in — somefinoruvver — at one end, oo know 
— and he turns the handle — and it comes out at the uvver 
end, oh, ever so short!" 

"As short as short!" Sylvie echoed. 

"And one day — when we was in Outland, oo know — 
before we came to Fairyland — me and Sylvie took him a 


big Crocodile. And he shortened it up for us. And it did 
look so funny! And it kept looking round, and saying 
'wherever is the rest of me got to?' And then its eyes look- 
ed unhappy — " 

"Not both its eyes," Sylvie interrupted. 

"Course not!" said the little fellow. "Only the eye that 
couldn't see wherever the rest of it had got to. But the eye 
that could see wherever — " 

"How short was the crocodile?" I asked, as the story 
was getting a little complicated. 

"Half as short again as when we caught it — so long," 
said Bruno, speading out his arms to their full stretch. 

I tried to calculate what this would come to, but it was 
too hard for me. Please make it out for me, dear Child 
who reads this! 

"But you didn't leave the poor thing so short as that, did 

"Well, no. Sylvie and me took it back again and we got 
it stretched to — to — how much was it, Sylvie?" 

"Two times and a half, and a little bit more," said Syl- 

"It wouldn't like that better than the other way, I'm 

"Oh, but it did though!" Bruno put in eagerly. "It were 
proud of its new tail! Oo never saw a Crocodile so proud! 
Why, it could go round and walk on the top of its tail, 
and along its back, all the way to its head!" 

"Not quite all the way," said Sylvie. "It couldn't, you 

"Ah, but it did, once!" Bruno cried triumphantly. "Oo 
weren't looking — but / watched it. And it walked on 
tipplety-toe, so as it wouldn't wake itself, 'cause it thought 
it were asleep. And it got both its paws on its tail. And it 


walked and it walked all the way along its back. And it 
walked and it walked on its forehead. And it walked a 
tiny little way down its nose! There now!" 

This was a good deal worse than the last puzzle. Please, 
dear Child, help again! 

"I don't believe no Crocodile never walked along its 
own forehead!" Sylvie cried, too much excited by the con- 
troversy to limit the number of her negatives. 

"Oo don't know the reason why it did it!" Bruno scorn- 
fully retorted. "It had a welly good reason. I heard it say 
'Why shouldn't I walk on my own forehead?' So a course 
it did, oo know!" 

"If that's a good reason, Bruno," I said, "why shouldn't 
you get up that tree?" 

''Shall, in a minute," said Bruno: " soon as we've done 
talking. Only two peoples can't talk comfably togevver, 
when one's getting up a tree, and the other isn't!" 

It appeared to me that a conversation would scarcely be 
"comfable" while trees were being climbed, even if both 
the "peoples" were doing it: but it was evidently danger- 
ous to oppose any theory of Bruno's ; so I thought it best to 
let the question drop, and to ask for an account of the 
machine that made things longer. 

This time Bruno was at a loss, and left it to Sylvie. "It's 
like a mangle," she said: "if things are put in, they get 
squoze — " 

"Squeezeled!" Bruno interrupted. 

"Yes." Sylvie accepted the correction, but did not at- 
tempt to pronounce the word, which was evidently new to 
her. "They get — like that — and they come out, oh, ever so 

"Once," Bruno began again, "Sylvie and me writed — " 

"Wrote!" Sylvie whispered.. 


"Well, we wroted a Nursery-Song, and the Professor 
mangled it longer for us. It were 'Titer e was a little Man, 
And he had a little gun, And the bullets — ' " 

"I know the rest," I interrupted. "But would you say it 
long — I mean the way that it came out of the mangle?" 

"We'll get the Professor to sing it for you," said Sylvie. 
"It would spoil it to say it." 

"I would like to meet the Professor," I said. "And I 
would like to take you all with me, to see some friends of 
mine, that live near here. Would you like to come?" 

"I don't think the Processor would like to come," said 
Sylvie. "He's very shy. But tved like it very much. Only 
we'd better not come this size, you know." 

The difficulty had occurred to me already: and I had 
felt that perhaps there would be a slight awkwardness in 
introducing two such tiny friends into Society. "What size 
will you be?" I enquired. 

"We'd better come as — common children^' Sylvie 
thoughtfully replied. "That's the easiest size to manage." 

"Could you come to-day?" I said, thinking "then we 
could have you at the picnic!" 

Sylvie considered a little. "Not to-day^' she replied. "We 
haven't got the things ready. We'll come on — Tuesday 
next, if you like. And now, really, Bruno, you must come 
and do your lessons." 

"I wiss 00 wouldn't say 'really Bruno!'" the little fel- 
low pleaded, with pouting lips that made him look pret- 
tier than ever, "It always shows there's something horrid 
coming! And I won't kiss you, if you're so unkind." 

"Ah, but you have kissed me!" Sylvie exclaimed in 
merry triumph. 

"Well then, I'll ^^kiss you!" And he threw his arms 
round her neck for this novel, but apparently not very 
painful, operation. 


"It's very like \issing!" Sylvie remarked, as soon as her 
lips were again free for speech. 

"Oo don't know nuffin about it! It were just the con- 
f^eryT Bruno replied with much severity, as he marched 

Sylvie turned her laughing face to me. "Shall we come 
on Tuesday?" she said. 

"Very well," I said : "let it be Tuesday next. But where 
is the Professor? Did he come with you to Fairyland?" 

"No," said Sylvie. "But he promised he'd come and see 
us, some day. He's getting his Lecture ready. So he has to 
stay at home." 

"At home?" I said dreamily, not feeling quite sure what 
she had said. 

"Yes, Sir. His Lordship and Lady Muriel are at home. 
Please to walk this way." 

Chapter XVII 

The Three Badgers 

Still more dreamily I found myself following this im- 
perious voice into a room where the Earl, his daughter, 
and Arthur, were seated. "So you're come at lastr said 
Lady Muriel, in a tone of playful reproach. 

"I was delayed," I stammered. Though what it was that 
had delayed me I should have been puzzled to explain! 
Luckily no questions were asked. 

The carriage was ordered round, the hamper, contain- 
ing our contribution to the Picnic, was duly stowed away, 
and we set forth. 

There was no need for me to maintain the conversation. 


Lady Muriel and Arthur were evidendy on those most de- 
Ughtful of terms, where one has no need to check thought 
after thought, as it rises to the Ups, with the fear ''this will 
not be appreciated — this will give offence — this will sound 
too serious — this will sound flippant": like very old 
friends, in fullest sympathy, their talk rippled on. 

"Why shouldn't we desert the Picnic and go in some 
other direction?" she suddenly suggested. "A party of 
four is surely self-sufficing? And as for jood, our ham- 
per — 

"Why shouldn't we? What a genuine ladys argument!" 
laughed Arthur. "A lady never knows on which side the 
onus probandi — the burden of proving — lies!" 

"Do men always know?" she asked with a pretty as- 
sumption of meek docility. 

"With one exception — the only one I can think of — Dr. 
Watts, who has asked the senseless question 

'Why should I deprive my neighbour 
Of his goods against his will?' 

Fancy that as an argument for Honesty! His position 
seems to be I'm only honest because I see no reason to 
steal.' And the thief's answer is of course complete and 
crushing. *I deprive my neighbour of his goods because I 
want them myself. And I do it against his will because 
there's no chance of getting him to consent to it!' " 

"I can give you one other exception," I said: "an argu- 
ment I heard only to-day — and not by a lady. *Why 
shouldn't I walk on my own forehead?' " 

"What a curious subject for speculation!" said Lady 
Muriel, turning to me, with eyes brimming over with 
laughter. "May we know who propounded the question ? 
And did he walk on his own forehead?" 


"I ca'n't remember who it was that said it!" I faltered. 
"Nor where I heard it!" 

"Whoever it was, I hope we shall meet him at the Pic- 
nic!" said Lady Muriel. "It's a far more interesting ques- 
tion than 'Isn't this a picturesque ruin?' 'Aren't those au- 
tumn-tints lovely?' I shall have to answer those two ques- 
tions ten times, at least, this afternoon!" 

"That's one of the miseries of Society!" said Arthur. 
"Why ca'n't people let one enjoy the beauties of Nature 
without having to say so every minute ? Why should Life 
be one long Catechism?" 

"It's just as bad at a picture-gallery," the Earl remarked. 
"I went to the R.A. last May, with a conceited young ar- 
tist: and he did torment me! I wouldn't have minded his 
criticizing the pictures himself: but / had to agree with 
him — or else to argue the point, which would have been 

"It was depreciatory criticism, of course?" said Arthur. 

"I don't see the 'of course' at all." 

"Why, did you ever know a conceited man dare to 
praise a picture? The one thing he dreads (next to not be- 
ing noticed) is to be proved fallible! If you once praise a 
picture, your character for infallibility hangs by a thread. 
Suppose it's a figure-picture, and you venture to say 
*draws well.' Somebody measures it, and finds one of the 
proportions an eighth of an inch wrong. You are disposed 
of as a critic! 'Did you say he draws well?' your friends 
enquire sarcastically, while you hang your head and 
blush. No. The only safe course, if any one says 'draws 
well,' is to shrug your shoulders. 'Draws well?' you repeat 
thoughtfully. 'Draws well? Humph!' That's the way to 
become a great critic!" 

Thus airily chatting, after a pleasant drive through a 
few miles of beautiful scenery, we reached the rendezvous 


— a ruined castle — where the rest o£ the picnic-party were 
already assembled. We spent an hour or two in sauntering 
about the ruins: gathering at last, by common consent, 
into a few random groups, seated on the side o£ a mound, 
which commanded a good view of the old castle and its 

The momentary silence, that ensued, was promptly tak- 
en possession of — or, more correctly, taken into custody 
— by a Voice; a voice so smooth, so monotonous, so 
sonorous, that one felt, with a shudder, that any other con- 
versation was precluded, and that, unless some desperate 
remedy were adopted, we were fated to listen to a Lec- 
ture, of which no man could foresee the end! 

The Speaker wac a broadly-built man, whose large, flat, 
pale face was bounded on the North by a fringe of hair, 
on the East and West by a fringe of whisker, and on the 
South by a fringe of beard — the whole constituting a uni- 
form halo of stubbly whitey-brown bristles. His features 
were so entirely destitute of expression that I could not 
help saying to myself — helplessly, as if in the clutches of 
a night-mare — "they are only penciled in : no final touches 
as yet!" And he had a way of ending every sentence with 
a sudden smile, which spread like a ripple over that vast 
blank surface, and was gone in a moment, leaving behind 
it such absolute solemnity that I felt impelled to murmur 
"it was not he: it was somebody else that smiled!" 

"Do you observe?" (such was the phrase with which 
the wretch began each sentence) "Do you observe the 
way in which that broken arch, at the very top of the ruin, 
stands out against the clear sky ? It is placed exactly right : 
and there is exactly enough of it. A little more, or a little 
less, and all would be utterly spoiled!" 

"Oh gifted architect!" murmured Arthur, inaudibly to 
all but Lady Muriel and myself. "Foreseeing the exact ef- 


feet his work would have, when in ruins, centuries after 
his death!" 

"And do you observe, where those trees slope down the 
hill," (indicating them with a sweep of the hand, and 
with all the patronising air of the man who has himself 
arranged the landscape), "how the mists rising from the 
river fill up exactly those intervals where we need indis- 
tinctness, for artistic effect? Here, in the foreground, a 
few clear touches are not amiss : but a ^ar ^-ground with- 
out mist, you know! It is simply barbarous! Yes, we need 

The orator looked so pointedly at me as he uttered these 
words, that I felt bound to reply, by murmuring some- 
thing to the effect that I hardly felt the need myself — and 
that I enjoyed looking at a thing, better, when I could 
see it. 

"Quite so!" the great man sharply took me up. "From 
your point of view, that is correctly put. But for any one 
who has a soul for Art^ such a view is preposterous. Na- 
ture is one thing. Art is another. Nature shows us the 
world as it is. But Art — as a Latin author tells us — Art^ 
you know — the words have escaped my memory — " 

''Ars est celare Naturam^' Arthur interposed with a de- 
lightful promptitude. 

"Quite so!" the orator replied with an air of relief. "I 
thank you! Ars est celare Naturam — but that isn't it.'* 
And, for a few peaceful moments, the orator brooded, 
frowningly, over the quotation. The welcome opportunity 
was seized, and another voice struck into the silence. 

"What a lovely old ruin it is!" cried a young lady in 
spectacles, the very embodiment of the March of Mind, 
looking at Lady Muriel, as the proper recipient of all 
really original remarks. "And dont you admire those au- 
tumn-tints on the trees? / do, intensely!'' 


Lady Muriel shot a meaning glance at me; but replied 
with admirable gravity. "Oh yes indeed, indeed! So true!" 

"And isn't it strange," said the young lady, passing with 
startling suddenness from Sentiment to Science, "that the 
mere impact of certain coloured rays upon the Retina 
should give us such exquisite pleasure?" 

"You have studied Physiology, then?" a certain young 
Doctor courteously enquired. 

"Oh, yes! Isn't it a sweet Science?" 

Arthur slightly smiled. "It seems a paradox, does it 
not," he went on, "that the image formed on the Retina 
should be inverted?" 

"It is puzzling," she candidly admitted. "Why is it we 
do not see things upside-down?" 

"You have never heard the Theory, then, that the 
Brain also is inverted?" 

"No indeed! What a beautiful fact! But how is it 

''Thus^' replied Arthur, with all the gravity of ten 
Professors rolled into one. "What we call the vertex of 
the Brain is really its base: and what we call its base is 
really its vertex: it is simply a question of nomenclature^ 

This last polysyllable settled the matter. "How truly 
delightful!" the fair Scientist exclaimed with enthusiasm. 
"I shall ask our Physiological Lecturer why he never gave 
us that exquisite Theory!" 

"I'd give something to be present when the question 
is asked!" Arthur whispered to me, as, at a signal from 
Lady Muriel, we moved on to where the hampers had 
been collected, and devoted ourselves to the more sub- 
stantial business of the day. 

We "waited" on ourselves, as the modern barbarism 
(combining two good things in such a way as to secure 
the discomforts of both and the advantages of neither) 


o£ having a picnic with servants to wait upon you, had 
not yet reached this out-of-the-way region — and of course 
the gentlemen did not even take their places until the 
ladies had been duly provided with all imaginable crea- 
ture-comforts. Then I supplied myself with a plate of 
something solid and a glass of something fluid, and found 
a place next to Lady Muriel. 

It had been left vacant — apparently, for Arthur, as a 
distinguished stranger: but he had turned shy, and had 
placed himself next to the young lady in spectacles, whose 
high rasping voice had already cast loose upon Society 
such ominous phrases as "Man is a bundle of Qualities!", 
"the Objective is only attainable through the Subjective!". 
Arthur was bearing it bravely: but several faces wore a 
look of alarm, and I thought it high time to start some 
less metaphysical topic. 

"In my nursery days," I began, "when the weather 
didn't suit for an out-of-doors picnic, we were allowed 
to have a peculiar kind, that we enjoyed hugely. The 
table cloth was laid under the table, instead of upon it: 
we sat round it on the floor: and I believe we really en- 
joyed that extremely uncomfortable kind of dinner more 
than we ever did the orthodox arrangement!" 

"I've no doubt of it," Lady Muriel replied. "There's 
nothing a well-regulated child hates so much as regu- 
larity. I believe a really healthy boy would thoroughly 
enjoy Greek Grammar — if only he might stand on his 
head to learn it! And your carpet-dinner certainly spared 
you one feature of a picnic, which is to me its chief 

"The chance of a shower?" I suggested. 

"No, the chance — or rather the certainty — of live things 
occurring in combination with one's food! Spiders are my 
bugbear. Now my father has no sympathy with that 


sentiment — have you, dear?" For the Earl had caught the 
word and turned to Hsten. 


"To each his sufferings, all are men," he replied in the 
sweet sad tones that seemed natural to him: "each has his 
pet aversion." 

"But you'll never guess hisl'' Lady Muriel said, with 
that delicate silvery laugh that was music to my ears. 

I declined to attempt the impossible. 

"He doesn't like sna^esT she said, in a stage whisper. 
"Now, isn't that an unreasonable aversion? Fancy not 
liking such a dear, coaxingly, clingingly affectionate crea- 
ture as a snake!" 

"Not like sna\esr I exclaimed. "Is such a thing pos- 

"No, he doesnt like them," she repeated with a pretty 
mock-gravity. "He's not afraid of them, you know. But 
he doesn't li\e them. He says they're too waggly!" 

I was more startled than I liked to show. There was 
something so uncanny in this echo of the very words I 
had so lately heard from that little forest-sprite, that it 
was only by a great effort I succeeded in saying, carelessly, 
"Let us banish so unpleasant a topic. Won't you sing us 
something, Lady Muriel? I know you do sing without 


"The only songs I know — without music — are desper- 
ately sentimental, I'm afraid! Are your tears all ready?" 

"Quite ready! Quite ready!" came from all sides, and 
Lady Muriel — not being one of those lady-singers who 
think it de rigueur to decline to sing till they have been 
petitioned three or four times, and have pleaded failure 
of memory, loss of voice, and other conclusive reasons 
for silence — began at once: — 


There be three Badgers on a mossy stone y 
Beside a dar\ and covered way: 


Each dreams himself a monarch on his throne, 

And so they stay and stay — 
Though their old Father languishes alone, 

They stay, and stay, and stay, 

** There be three Herrings loitering around, 
Longing to share that mossy seat: 
Each Herring tries to sing what she has found 

That ma\es Life seem- so sweet. 
Thus, with a grating and uncertain sound. 
They bleat, and bleat, and bleat. 

"The Mother-Herring, on the salt sea-wave. 
Sought vainly for her absent ones: 
The Father-Badger, writhing in a cave, 

Shrie\ed out 'Return, my sonsi 
You shall have buns,' he shrieked, 'if you II behave! 
Yea, buns, and buns, and buns!' 

t< t 

I fear,' said she, 'your sons have gone astray? 

My daughters left me while I slept,' 
'Yes'm,' the Badger said: 'it's as you say,' 

'They should be better \ept.' 
Thus the poor parents talked the time away, 
And wept, and wept, and wept," 

Here Bruno broke of? suddenly. "The Herrings' Song 
wants anuvver tune, Sylvie," he said. "And I ca'n't sing it 
— not wizout oo plays it for me!" 

Instantly Sylvie seated herself upon a tiny mushroom, 
that happened to grow in front of a daisy, as if it were 
the most ordinary musical instrument in the world, and 
played on the petals as if they were the notes of an organ. 
And such delicious tiny music it was! Such teeny-tiny 

Bruno held his head on one side, and listened very 


gravely for a few moments until he had caught the mel- 
ody. Then the sweet childish voice rang out once more: — 



Oh, dear beyond our dearest dreams, 
Fairer than all that fairest seems! 
To feast the rosy hours atvay, 
To revel in a roundelay! 

Hotv blest would be 

A life so free — 
Ipwergis'Pudding to consume, 
And drin/(^ the subtle Azzigoom! 

And if, in other days and hours. 
Mid other fluffs and other flowers. 
The choice were given me how to dine — 
'Name what thou wilt: it shall be thine!* 

Oh, then I see 

The life for me — 
IpwergiS'Pudding to consume. 
And drin\ the subtle Azzigoom!" 

"Oo may leave off playing now^ Sylvie. I can do the 
uvver tune much better wizout a compliment." 

"He means 'without accompaniment^' " Sylvie whis- 
pered, smiling at my puzzled look: and she pretended 
to shut up the stops of the organ. 

**The Badgers did not care to tal\ to Fish: 
They did not dote on Herrings' songs: 
They never had experienced the dish 

To which that name belongs: 
* And oh, to pinch their tails' {this was their wish,) 
'With tongs, yea, tongs, and tongs!' " 

I ought to mention that he marked the parenthesis, 
in the air, with his finger. It seemed to me a very good 


plan. You know there's no sound to represent it — any 
more than there is for a question. 

Suppose you have said to your friend "You are better 
to-day," and that you want him to understand that you 
are asking him a question^ what can be simpler than 
just to make a "?" in the air with your finger? He would 
understand you in a moment! 

it i 

And are not these the Fish' the Eldest sighed, 
'Whose Mother dwells beneath the foam?' 
'They are the Fish!' the Second one replied. 

And they have left their home!' 
'Oh wicked Fish' the Youngest Badger cried, 
'To roam, yea, roam, and roam!' 

"Gently the Badgers trotted to the shore — 

The sandy shore that fringed the bay: 
Each in his mouth a living Herring bore — 

Those aged ones waxed gay: 
Clear rang their voices through the ocean's roar, 
'Hooray, hooray, hooray!' " 

"So they all got safe home again," Bruno said, after 
waiting a minute to see if / had anything to say : he evi- 
dently felt that some remark ought to be made. And I 
couldn't help wishing there were some such rule in So- 
ciety, at the conclusion of a song — that the singer herself 
should say the right thing, and not leave it to the audi- 
ence. Suppose a young lady has just been warbling ("with 
a grating and uncertain sound") Shelley's exquisite lyric 
"/ arise from dreams of thee' : how much nicer it would 
be, instead of your having to say "Oh, than\ you, than\ 
you!" for the young lady herself to remark, as she draws 
on her gloves, while the impassioned words ''Oh, press 
it to thine own, or it will brea\ at last!'' are still ringing 


in your ears, " — but she wouldn't do it, you know. So it 
did break at last." 

"And I \new it would!" she added quietly, as I started 
at the sudden crash of broken glass. "You've been holding 
it sideways for the last minute, and letting all the cham- 
pagne run out! Were you asleep, I wonder? I'm so sorry 
my singing has such a narcotic effect!" 

Chapter XVIII 
Queer Street, Number Forty 

Lady Muriel was the speaker. And, for the moment, 
that was the only fact I could clearly realise. But how 
she came to be there — and how / came to be there — and 
how the glass of champagne came to be there — all these 
were questions which I felt it better to think out in 
silence, and not commit myself to any statement till I 
understood things a little more clearly. 

"First accumulate a mass of Facts: and then construct 
a Theory." That^ I believe, is the true Scientic Method. I 
sat up, rubbed my eyes, and began to accumulate Facts. 

A smooth grassy slope, bounded, at the upper end, by 
venerable ruins half buried in ivy, at the lower, by a 
stream seen through arching trees — a dozen gaily-dressed 
people, seated in little groups here and there — some open 
hampers — the debris of a picnic — such were the Facts 
accumulated by the Scientific Researcher. And now, what 
deep, far-reaching Theory was he to construct from them.^^ 
The Researcher found himself at fault. Yet stay! One 
Fact had escaped his notice. While all the rest were 
grouped in twos and in threes, Arthur was alone: while 
all tongues were talking, his was silent: while all faces 


were gay, his was gloomy and despondent. Here was a 
Fact indeed! The Researcher felt that a Theory must be 
constructed without delay. 

Lady Muriel had just risen and left the party. Could 
that be the cause of his despondency ? The Theory hardly 
rose to the dignity of a Working Hypothesis. Clearly 
more Facts were needed. 

The Researcher looked round him once more: and now 
the Facts accumulated in such bewildering profusion, that 
the Theory was lost among them. For Lady Muriel had 
gone to meet a strange gentleman, just visible in the dis- 
tance: and now she was returning with him, both of 
them talking eagerly and joyfully, like old friends who 
have been long parted: and now she was moving from 
group to group, introducing the new hero of the hour: 
and he, young, tall, and handsome, moved gracefully at 
her side, with the erect bearing and firm tread of a 
soldier. Verily, the Theory looked gloomy for Arthur! 
His eye caught mine, and he crossed to me. 

"He is very handsome," I said. 

"Abominably handsome!" muttered Arthur: then 
smiled at his own bitter words. "Lucky no one heard me 
but you!" 

"Doctor Forester," said Lady Muriel, who had just 
joined us, "let me introduce to you my cousin Eric Lin- 
don — Captain Lindon, I should say." 

Arthur shook off his ill-temper instantly and com- 
pletely, as he rose and gave the young soldier his hand. 
"I have heard of you," he said. "I'm very glad to make 
the acquaintance of Lady Muriel's cousin." 

"Yes, that's all I'm distinguished for, as yetT said Eric 
(so we soon got to call him) with a winning smile. "And 
I doubt," glancing at Lady Muriel, "if it even amounts to 
a good-conduct-badge! But it's something to begin with.'* 


"You must come to my father, Eric," said Lady Muriel. 
"I think he's wandering among the ruins." And the pair 
moved on. 

The gloomy look returned to Arthur's face: and I 
could see it was only to distract his thoughts that he took 
his place at the side of the metaphysical young lady, and 
resumed their interrupted discussion. 

"Talking of Herbert Spencer," he began, "do you really 
find no logical difficulty in regarding Nature as a process 
of involution, passing from definite coherent homo- 
geneity to indefinite incoherent heterogeneity?" 

Amused as I was at the ingenious jumble he had made 
of Spencer's words, I kept as grave a face as I could. 

"No physical difficulty," she confidently replied: "but 
I haven't studied Logic much. Would you state the diffi- 

"Well," said Arthur, "do you accept it as self-evident? 
Is it as obvious, for instance, as that 'things that are 
greater than the same are greater than one another'?" 

"To my mind," she modestly replied, "it seems quite 
as obvious. I grasp both truths by intuition. But other 
minds may need some logical — I forget the technical 

"For a complete logical argument," Arthur began with 
admirable solemnity, "we need two prim Misses " 

"Of course!" she interrupted. "I remember that word 
now. And they produce — ?" 

"A Delusion," said Arthur. 

"Ye — es?" she said dubiously. "I don't seem to remem- 
ber that so well. But what is the whole argument called?" 

"A SiUygism." 

"Ah, yes! I remember now. But I don't need a SiUy- 
gism, you know, to prove that mathematical axiom you 


"Nor to prove that *all angles are equal', I suppose?" 

"Why, of course not! One takes such a simple truth as 
that for granted!" 

Here I ventured to interpose, and to offer her a plate 
of strawberries and cream. I felt really uneasy at the 
thought that she might detect the trick: and I contrived, 
unperceived by her, to shake my head reprovingly at the 
pseudo-philosopher. Equally unperceived by her, Arthur 
slightly raised his shoulders, and spread his hands abroad, 
as who should say "What else can I say to her?" and 
moved away leaving her to discuss her strawberries by 
"involution," or any other way she preferred. 

By this time the carriages, that were to convey the 
revelers to their respective homes, had begun to assemble 
outside the Castle-grounds: and it became evident — now 
that Lady Muriel's cousin had joined our party — that the 
problem, how to convey five people to Elveston, with a 
carriage that would only hold four, must somehow be 

The Honorable Eric Lindon, who was at this moment 
walking up and down with Lady Muriel, might have 
solved it at once, no doubt, by announcing his intention of 
returning on foot. Of this solution there did not seem to 
be the very smallest probability. 

The next best solution, it seemed to me, was that / 
should walk home: and this I at once proposed. 

"You're sure you don't mind?" said the Earl. "I'm 
afraid the carriage won't take us all, and I don't like 
to suggest to Eric to desert his cousin so soon." 

"So far from minding it," I said, "I should prefer it. 
It will give me time to sketch this beautiful old ruin." 

"I'll keep you company," Arthur suddenly said. And, 
in answer to what I suppose was a look of surprise on my 


face, he said in a low voice, "I really would rather. I shall 
be quite de trop in the carriage!" 

"I think 111 walk too," said the Earl. "You'll have to 
be content with Eric as your escort," he added, to Lady 
Muriel, who had joined us while he was speaking. 

"You must be as entertaining as Cerberus — 'three gen- 
tlemen rolled into one' — " Lady Muriel said to her com- 
panion. "It will be a grand military exploit!" 

"A sort of Forlorn Hope?" the Captain modestly sug- 

"You do pay pretty compliments!" laughed his fair 
cousin. "Good day to you, gentlemen three — or rather 
deserters three!" And the two young folk entered the car- 
riage and were driven away. 

"How long will your sketch take?" said Arthur. 

"Well," I said, "I should like an hour for it. Don't you 
think you had better go without me? I'll return by train. 
I know there's one in about an hour's time." 

"Perhaps that would be best," said the Earl. "The Sta- 
tion is quite close." 

So I was left to my own devices, and soon found a 
comfortable seat, at the foot of a tree, from which I had 
a good view of the ruins. 

"It is a very drowsy day," I said to myself, idly turn- 
ing over the leaves of the sketch-book to find a blank 
page. "Why, I thought you were a mile off by this time!" 
For, to my surprise, the two walkers were back again. 

"I came back to remind you," Arthur said, "that the 
trains go every ten minutes — " 

"Nonsense!" I said. "It isn't the Metropolitan Railway!" 

"It is the Metropolitan Railway," the Earl insisted. 
"This is a part of Kensington." 

"Why do you talk with your eyes shut?" said Arthur. 
"Wake up!" 


"I think it's the heat that makes me so drowsy," I said, 
hoping, but not feehng quite sure, that I was talking 
sense. "Am I awake now?" 

"I think noty'' the Earl judicially pronounced. "What 
do you think. Doctor? He's only got one eye open!" 

"And he's snoring like anything!" cried Bruno. "Do 
wake up, you dear old thing!" And he and Sylvie set to 
work, rolling the heavy head from side to side, as if its 
connection with the shoulders was a matter of no sort of 

And at last the Professor opened his eyes, and sat up, 
blinking at us with eyes of utter bewilderment. "Would 
you have the kindness to mention," he said, addressing 
me with his usual old-fashioned courtesy, "whereabouts 
we are just now — and who we are, beginning with me?" 

I thought it best to begin with the children. "This is 
Sylvie, Sir; and this is Bruno." 

"Ah, yes! I know them well enough!" the old man mur- 
mured. "It's myself I'm most anxious about. And perhaps 
you'll be good enough to mention, at the same time, how 
I got here?" 

"A harder problem occurs to /W(f," I ventured to say: 
"and that is, how you're to get back again." 

"True, true!" the Professor replied. "That's the Prob- 
lem, no doubt. Viewed as a Problem, outside of oneself, 
it is a most interesting one. Viewed as a portion of one's 
own biography, it is, I must admit, very distressing!" He 
groaned, but instantly added, with a chuckle, "As to 
myself^ I think you mentioned that I am — " 

"Oo're the Professor T Bruno shouted in his ear. "Didn't 
00 know that? Oo've come from Outland! And it's ever 
so far away from here!" 

The Professor leapt to his feet with the agility of a 


boy. "Then there's no time to lose!" he exclaimed anx- 
iously. "I'll just ask this guileless peasant, with his brace 
of buckets that contain (apparently) water, if he'll be so 
kind as to direct us. Guileless peasant!" he proceeded in 
a louder voice. "Would you tell us the way to Outland?" 

The guileless peasant turned with a sheepish grin. 
"Hey?" was all he said. 

"The — way — to — Outland!" the Professor repeated. 

The guileless peasant set down his buckets and con- 
sidered. "Ah, dunnot — " 

"I ought to mention," the Professor hastily put in, "that 
whatever you say will be used in evidence against you." 

The guileless peasant instantly resumed his buckets. 
"Then ah says nowt!" he answered briskly, and walked 
away at a great pace. 

The children gazed sadly at the rapidly vanishing fig- 
ure. "He goes very quick!" the Professor said with a sigh. 
"But I \now that was the right thing to say. I've studied 
your English Laws. However, let's ask this next man 
that's coming. He is not guileless, and he is not a peasant 
— but I don't know that either point is of vital impor- 

It was, in fact, the Honourable Eric Lindon, who had 
apparently fulfilled his task of escorting Lady Muriel 
home, and was now strolling leisurely up and down the 
road outside the house, enjoying a solitary cigar. 

"Might I trouble you, Sir, to tell us the nearest way to 
Outland!" Oddity as he was, in outward appearance, the 
Professor was, in that essential nature which no outward 
disguise could conceal, a thorough gentleman. 

And, as such, Eric Lindon accepted him instantly. He 
took the cigar from his mouth, and delicately shook off 
the ash, while he considered. "The name sounds strange 
to me," he said. "I doubt if I can help you." 


"It is not very iar from Fairyland^'' the Professor sug- 

Eric Lindon's eye-brows were slightly raised at these 
words, and an amused smile, which he courteously tried 
to repress, flitted across his handsome face. "A trifle 
crac\edr he muttered to himself. "But what a jolly old 
patriarch it is!" Then he turned to the children. "And 
ca'n't you help him, little folk?" he said, with a gentle- 
ness of tone that seemed to win their hearts at once. 
"Surely you know all about it? 

'How many miles to Babylon? 

Three-score miles and ten. 
Can 1 get there by candlelight? 

Yes, and bac\ again!' " 

To my surprise, Bruno ran forwards to him, as if he 
were some old friend of theirs, seized the disengaged 
hand and hung on to it with both of his own : and there 
stood this tall dignified officer in the middle of the road, 
gravely swinging a little boy to and fro, while Sylvie stood 
ready to push him, exactly as if a real swing had sud- 
denly been provided for their pastime. 

"We don't want to get to Babylon^ oo know!" Bruno 
explained as he swung. 

"And it isn't candlelight: it's daylight!'' Sylvie added, 
giving the swing a push of extra vigour, which nearly 
took the whole machine off its balance. 

By this time it was clear to me that Eric Lindon was 
quite unconscious of my presence. Even the Professor and 
the children seemed to have lost sight of me : and I stood 
in the midst of the group, as unconcernedly as a ghost, 
seeing but unseen. 

"How perfectly isochronous!" the Professor exclaimed 
with enthusiasm. He had his watch in his hand, and was 


carefully counting Bruno's oscillations. "He measures 
time quite as accurately as a pendulum!" 

"Yet even pendulums," the good-natured young soldier 
observed, as he carefully released his hand from Bruno's 
grasp, "are not a joy for ever! Come, that's enough for 
one bout, little man! Next time wt meet, you shall have 
another. Meanwhile you'd better take this old gentleman 
to Queer Street, Number — " 

''Well find it!" cried Bruno eagerly, as they dragged 
the Professor away. 

"We are much indebted to you!" the Professor said,, 
looking over his shoulder. 

"Don't mention it!" replied the officer, raising his hat 
as a parting salute. 

^'What number did you say!" the Professor called from 
the distance. 

The officer made a trumpet of his two hands. "Forty!" 
he shouted in stentorian tones. "And not piano, by any 
means!" he added to himself. "It's a mad world, my mas- 
ters, a mad world!" He lit another cigar, and strolled on 
towards his hotel. 

"What a lovely evening!" I said, joining him as he 
passed me. 

"Lovely indeed," he said. "Where did you come from? 
Dropped from the clouds?" 

"I'm strolling your way," I said; and no further ex- 
planation seemed necessary. 

"Have a cigar?" 

"Thanks: I'm not a smoker." 

"Is there a Lunatic Asylum near here?" 

"Not that I know of." 

"Thought there might be. Met a lunatic just now., 
Queer old fish as ever I saw!" 

And so, in friendly chat, we took our homeward ways. 


and wished each other "good-night" at the door of his 

Left to myself, I felt the "eerie" feeling rush over me 
again, and saw, standing at the door of Number Forty, 
the three figures I knew so well. 

"Then it's the wrong house?" Bruno was saying. 

"No, no! It's the right iiouse^' the Professor cheerfully 
replied: "but it's the wrong street. That's where we've 
made our mistake! Our best plan, now will be to — " 

It was over. The street was empty. Commonplace life 
was around me, and the "eerie" feeling had fled. 

Chapter XIX 
How to Make a Phlizz 

The week passed without any further communication 
with the "Hall," as Arthur was evidently fearful that we 
might "wear out our welcome"; but when, on Sunday 
morning, we were setting out for church, I gladly agreed 
to his proposal to go round and enquire after the Earl, 
who was said to be unwell. 

Eric, who was strolling in the garden, gave us a good 
report of the invalid, who v/as still in bed, with Lady 
Murial in attendance. 

"Are you coming with us to church?" I enquired. 

"Thanks, no," he courteously replied. "It's not — ex- 
actly — in my line, you know. It's an excellent institution 
— for the poor. When I'm with my own folk, I go, just 
to set them an example. But I'm not known here: so I 
think I'll excuse myself sitting out a sermon. Country- 
preachers are always so dull!" 


Arthur was silent till we were out of hearing. Then he 
said to himself, almost inaudibly, ''Where two or three 
are gathered together in my name, there am 1 in the 
midst of themT 

"Yes," I assented: "no doubt that is the principle on 
which church-going rests." 

"And when he does go," he continued (our thoughts 
ran so much together, that our conversation was often 
slightly elliptical), "I suppose he repeats the words 7 be- 
lieve in the Communion of Saints'?'' 

But by this time we had reached the little church, into 
which a goodly stream of worshipers, consisting mainly 
of fishermen and their families, was flowing. 

The service would have been pronounced by any mod- 
ern aesthetic religionist — or religious aesthete, which is it? 
— to be crude and cold: to me, coming fresh from the 
ever-advancing developments of a London church under 
a soi'disant "Catholic" Rector, it was unspeakably re- 

There was no theatrical procession of demure little 
choristers, trying their best not to simper under the ad- 
miring gaze of the congregation : the people's share in the 
service was taken by the people themselves, unaided, ex- 
cept that a few good voices, judiciously posted here and 
there among them, kept the singing from going too far 

There was no murdering of the noble music, contained 
in the Bible and the Liturgy, by its recital in a dead 
monotone, with no more expression that a mechanical 

No, the prayers were prayed, the lessons were ready 
and — best of all — the sermon was tal\ed; and I found 
myself repeating, as we left the church, the words of 
Jacob, w^hen he ''awa\ed out of his sleep!' " 'Surely the 


Lord is in this place! This is none other but the house of 
God, and tJiis is the gate of heaven' " 

"Yes," said Arthur, apparently in answer to my 
thoughts, "those 'high' services are fast becoming pure 
FormaHsm. More and more the people are beginning to 
regard them as 'performances,' in which they only 'as- 
sist' in the French sense. And it is specially bad for the 
little boys. They'd be much less self-conscious as pan- 
tomime-fairies. With all that dressing-up, and stagy-en- 
trances and exits, and being always en evidence^ no 
wonder if they're eaten up with vanity, the blatant little 

When we passed the Hall on our return, we found the 
Earl and Lady Muriel sitting out in the garden. Eric 
had gone for a stroll. 

We joined them, and the conversation soon turned on 
the sermon we had just heard, the subject of which was 

"What a change has come over our pulpits," Arthur 
remarked, "since the time when Paley gave that utterly 
selfish definition of virtue, 'the doing good to manl^ind, 
in obedience to the will of God, and for the sa\e of ever- 
lasting happiness' !'' 

Lady Muriel looked at him enquiringly, but she seemed 
to have learned by intuition, what years of experience 
had taught me, that the way to elicit Arthur's deepest 
thoughts was neither to assent nor dissent, but simply to 

"At that time," he went on, "a great tidal wave of 
selfishness was sweeping over human thought. Right and 
Wrong had somehow been transformed into Gain and 
Loss, and Religion had become a sort of commercial 
transaction. We may be thankful that our preachers are 
beginning to take a nobler view of life." 


"But is it not taught again and again in the Bible?'' I 
ventured to ask. 

"Not in the Bible, as a whole^' said Arthur. "In the 
Old Testament, no doubt, rewards and punishments are 
constantly appealed to as motives for action. That teach- 
ing is best for children^ and the Israelites seem to have 
been, mentally, utter children. We guide our children 
thus, at first: but we appeal, as soon as possible, to their 
innate sense of Right and Wrong: and, when that stage 
is safely past, we appeal to the highest motive of all, the 
desire for likeness to, and union with, the Supreme Good. 
I think you will find that to be the teaching of the Bible, 
as a whole^ beginning with 'that thy days may be long 
in the land^ and ending with 'be ye perfect, even as your 
Father which is in heaven is perfect' " 

We were silent for awhile, and then Arthur went off 
on another tack. "Look at the literature of Hymns, now. 
How cankered it is, through and through, with selfish- 
ness! There are few human compositions more utterly 
degraded than some modern Hymns!" 

I quoted the stanza. 

'* Whatever, hard, we lend to Thee, 
Repaid a thousandfold shall be, 
Then gladly will we give to Thee, 

Giver of allV 

"Yes," he said grimly: "that is the typical stanza. And 
the very last charity-sermon I heard was infected with it. 
After giving many good reasons for charity, the preacher 
wound up with 'and, for all you give, you will be repaid 
a thousandfold!' Oh, the utter meanness of such a motive, 
to be put before men who do know what self-sacrifice 
is, who can appreciate generosity and heroism! Talk of 


Original Sin!'' he went on with increasing bitterness. 
*'Can you have a stronger proof of the Original Good- 
ness there must be in this nation, than the fact that Re- 
ligion has been preached to us, as a commercial specula- 
tion, for a century, and that we still believe in a God?" 

"It couldn't have gone on so long," Lady Muriel mus- 
ingly remarked, "if the Opposition hadn't been practically 
silenced — put under what the French call la cloture. Sure- 
ly in any lecture-hall, or in private society, such teaching 
would soon have been hooted down?" 

"I trust so," said Arthur: "and, though I don't want 
to see ^brawling in church' legalised, I must say that our 
preachers enjoy an enormous privilege — which they ill 
deserve, and which they misuse terribly. We put our man 
into a pulpit, and we virtually tell him *Now, you may 
stand there and talk to us for half-an-hour. We won't 
interrupt you by so much as a word! You shall have it 
all your own way!' And what does he give us in return? 
Shallow twaddle, that, if it were addressed to you over a 
dinner-table, you would think 'Does the man take me for 
a fool?' " 

The return of Eric from his walk checked the tide of 
Arthur's eloquence, and, after a few minutes' talk on 
more conventional topics, we took our leave. Lady Muriel 
walked with us to the gate. "You have given me much to 
think about," she said earnestly, as she gave Arthur her 
hand. "I'm so glad you came in!" And her words brought 
a real glow of pleasure into that pale worn face of his. 

On the Tuesday, as Arthur did not seem equal to more 
walking, I took a long stroll by myself, having stipulated 
that he was not to give the whole day to his books, but 
was to meet me at the Hall at about tea-time. On my way 
back, I passed the Station just as the afternoon-train came 


in sight, and sauntered down the stairs to see it come in. 
But there was Uttle to gratify my idle curiosity : and, when 
the train was empty, and the platform clear, I found it 
was about time to be moving on, if I meant to reach the 
Hall by five. 

As I approached the end of the platform, from which 
a steep irregular wooden staircase conducted to the upper 
world, I noticed two passengers, who had evidently ar- 
rived by the train, but who, oddly enough, had entirely 
escaped my notice, though the arrivals had been so few. 
They were a young woman and a little girl: the former, 
so far as one could judge by appearances, was a nurse- 
maid, or possibly a nursery-governess, in attendance on 
the child, whose refined face, even more than her dress, 
distinguished her as of a higher class than her companion. 

The child's face was refined, but it was also a worn 
and sad one, and told a tale (or so I seemed to read it) 
of much illness and suffering, sweetly and patiently borne. 
She had a little crutch to help herself along with: and 
she was now standing, looking wistfully up the long 
staircase, and apparently waiting till she could muster 
courage to begin the toilsome ascent. 

There are some things one says in life — as well as things 
one does — which come automatically, by reflex action, as 
the physiologists say (meaning, no doubt, action without 
reflection, just as lucus is said to be derived "^ non lu- 
cendo''). Closing one's eyelids, when something seems 
to be flying into the eye, is one of those actions, and say- 
ing "May I carry the little girl up the stairs?" was an- 
other. It wasn't that any thought of offering help oc- 
curred to me, and that then I spoke: the first intimation 
I had, of being likely to make that offer, was the sound 
of my own voice, and the discovery that the offer had been 


made. The servant paused, doubtfully glancing from her 
charge to me, and then back again to the child. "Would 
you like it, dear?" she asked her. But no such doubt ap- 
peared to cross the child's inind : she lifted her arms eager- 
ly to be taken up. "Please!" was all she said, while a faint 
smile flickered on the weary little face. I took her up with 
scrupulous care, and her little arm was at once clasped 
trustfully round my neck. 

She was a very light weight — so light, in fact, that the 
ridiculous idea crossed my mind that it was rather easier 
going up, with her in my arms, than it would have been 
without her : and, when we reached the road above, with 
its cart-ruts and loose stones — all formidable obstacles for 
a lame child — I found that I had said "Fd better carry 
her over this rough place," before I had formed any men- 
tal connection between its roughness and my gentle little 
burden. "Indeed it's troubling you too much, Sir!" the 
maid exclaimed. "She can walk very well on the flat." 
But the arm, that was twined about my neck, clung just 
an atom more closely at the suggestion, and decided me 
to say "She's no weight, really. I'll carry her a little fur- 
ther. I'm going your way." 

The nurse raised no further objection: and the next 
speaker was a ragged little boy, with bare feet, and a 
broom over his shoulder, who ran across the road, and 
pretended to sweep the perfectly dry road in front of us. 
"Give us a 'ap'ny!" the little urchin pleaded, with a broad 
grin on his dirty face. 

''Dont give him a 'ap'ny!" said the little lady in my 
arms. The words sounded harsh: but the tone was gentle- 
ness itself. "He's an idle little boy!" And she laughed a 
laugh of such silvery sweetness as I had never yet heard 
from any lips but Sylvie's. To my astonishment, the boy 


actually joined in the laugh, as if there were some subtle 
sympathy between them, as he ran away down the road 
and vanished through a gap in the hedge. 

But he was back in a few moments, having discarded 
his broom and provided himself, from some mysterious 
source, with an exquisite bouquet of flowers. "Buy a posy, 
buy a posy! Only a 'ap'ny!" he chanted, with the melan- 
choly drawl of a professional beggar. 

''Dont buy it!" was Her Majesty's edict as she looked 
down, with a lofty scorn that seemed curiously mixed 
with tender interest, on the ragged creature at her feet. 

But this time I turned rebel, and ignored the royal 
commands. Such lovely flowers, and of forms so entirely 
new to me, were not to be abandoned at the bidding of 
any little maid, however imperious. I bought the bouquet : 
and the little boy, after popping the halfpenny into his 
mouth, turned head-over-heels, as if to ascertain whether 
the human mouth is really adapted to serve as a money- 

With wonder, that increased every moment, I turned 
over the flowers, and examined them one by one: there 
was not a single one among them that I could remember 
having ever seen before. At last I turned to the nurse- 
maid. "Do these flowers grow wild about here? I never 
saw — " but the speech died away on my lips. The nurse- 
maid had vanished! 

"You can put me down, noWy if you like," Sylvie quiet- 
ly remarked. 

I obeyed in silence, and could only ask myself "Is this 
a dream?'\ on finding Sylvie and Bruno walking one on 
either side of me, and clinging to my hands with the 
ready confidence of childhood. 

"You're larger than when I saw you last!" I began. 


"Really I think we ought to be introduced again! There's 
so much of you that I never met before, you know." 

"Very well!" Sylvie merrily replied. "This is Bruno, 
It doesn't take long. He's only got one name!" 

"There's another name to me!" Bruno protested, with 
a reproachful look at the Mistress of the Ceremonies. 
"And it's — 'Esquire r 

"Oh, of course. I forgot," said Sylvie. "Bruno — 

"And did you come here to meet me, my children?" I 

"You know I said we'd come on Tuesday," Sylvie ex- 
plained. "Are we the proper size for common children .f^" 

"Quite the right size for children^' I replied, (adding 
mentally "though not common children, by any means!") 
"But what became of the nursemaid?" 

"It are gone!'' Bruno solemnly replied. 

"Then it wasn't solid, like Sylvie and you?" 

"No. Oo couldn't touch it, oo know. If oo walked at 
it, oo'd go right froo!" 

"I quite expected you'd find it out, once," said Sylvie^ 
"Bruno ran it against a telegraph post, by accident. And 
it went in two halves. But you were looking the other 

I felt that I had indeed missed an opportunity: to wit- 
ness such an event as a nursemaid going "in two halves" 
does not occur twice in a life-time! 

"When did oo guess it were Sylvie?" Bruno enquired. 

"I didn't guess it, till it was Sylvie," I said. "But how 
did you manage the nursemaid?" 

''Bruno managed it," said Sylvie. "It's called a Phlizz." 

"And how do you make a Phlizz, Bruno?" 

"The Professor teached me how," said Bruno. "First 
oo takes a lot of air — " 


"Oh, BrunoT Sylvie interposed. "The Professor said 
you weren't to tell!" 

"But who did her voice?'' I asked. 

"Indeed it's troubling you too much. Sir! She can walk 
very well on the flat." 

Bruno laughed merrily as I turned hastily from side 
to side, looking in all directions for the speaker. "That 
were mer he gleefully proclaimed, in his own voice. 

"She can indeed walk very well on the flat," I said. 
"And I think / was the Flat." 

By this time we were near the Hall. "This is where my 
friends live," I said. "Will you come in and have some 
tea with them?" 

Bruno gave a little jump of joy: and Sylvie said "Yes, 
please. You'd like some tea, Bruno, wouldn't you? He 
hasn't tasted tea^' she explained to me, "since we left Out- 

"And that weren't good tea!" said Bruno. "It were so 
tvelly weak!" 

Chapter XX 
Light Come, Light Go 

Lady Muriel's smile of welcome could not quite con- 
ceal the look of surprise with which she regarded my 
new companions. 

I presented them in due form. "This is Sylvie, Lady 
Muriel. And this is BrunoT 

"Any surname?" she enquired, her eyes twinkling 
with fun. 

"No," I said gravely. "No surname." 


She laughed, evidently thinking I said it in fun; and 
stooped to kiss the children — a salute to which Bruno 
submitted with reluctance: Sylvie returned it with in- 

While she and Arthur (who had arrived before me) 
supplied the children with tea and cake, I tried to engage 
the Earl in conversation : but he was restless and distrait^ 
and we made little progress. At last, by a sudden question, 
he betrayed the cause of his disquiet. 

''Would you let me look at those flowers you have in 
your hand?" 

"Willingly!" I said, handing him the bouquet. Botany 
was, I knew, a favourite study of his: and these flowers 
were to me so entirely new and mysterious, that I was 
really curious to see what a botanist would say of them. 

They did not diminish his disquiet. On the contrary, 
he became every moment more excited as he turned them 
over. ''These are all from Central India!" he said, laying 
aside part of the bouquet. "They are rare, even there: 
and I have never seen them in any other part of the 
world. These two are Mexican — This one — " (He rose 
hastily and carried it to the window, to examine it in a 
better light, the flush of excitement mounting to his very 
forehead) " — is, I am nearly sure — but I have a book of 
Indian Botany here — " He took a volume from the 
book-shelves, and turned the leaves with trembling fin- 
gers. "Yes! Compare it with this picture! It is the exact 
duplicate! This is the flower of the Upas-tree, which 
usually grows only in the depths of forests; and the flower 
fades so quickly after being plucked, that it is scarcely 
possible to keep its form or colour even so far as the out- 
skirts of the forest! Yet this is in full bloom! Where did 
you get these flowers?" he added with breathless eager- 


I glanced at Sylvie, who, gravely and silendy, laid her 
finger on her lips, then beckoned to Bruno to follow her, 
and ran out into the garden; and I found myself in the 
position of a defendant whose two most important wit- 
nesses have been suddenly taken away. "Let me give you 
the flowers!" I stammered out at last, quite "at my wit's 
end" as to how to get out of the difficulty. "You know 
much more about them than I do!" 

"I accept them most gratefully! But you have not yet 
told me — " the Earl was beginning, when we were in- 
terrupted, to my great relief, by the arrival of Eric Lindon. 

To Arthur^ however, the new-comer was, I saw clearly ,^ 
anything but welcome. His face clouded over: he drew a 
little back from the circle, and took no further part in 
the conversation, which was wholly maintained, for some 
minutes, by Lady Muriel and her lively cousin, who were 
discussing some new music that had just arrived from 

"Do just try this one!" he pleaded. "The music looks 
easy to sing at sight, and the song's quite appropriate to 
the occasion." 

"Then I suppose it's 

^Five ocloc\ teal 
Ever to thee 
Faithful ril be, 
Five ocloc\ teal' 


laughed Lady Muriel, as she sat down to the piano, and 
lightly struck a few random chords. 

"Not quite: and yet it is a kind of *ever to thee faith- 
full I'll be!' It's a pair of hapless lovers: he crosses the 
briny deep : and she is left lamenting." 

"That is indeed appropriate!" she replied mockingly, 


as he placed the song before her. "And am / to do the 
lamenting? And who for, if you please?" 

She played the air once or twice through, first in quick, 
and finally in slow, time; and then gave us the whole song 
with as much graceful ease as if she had been familiar 
with it all her life: — 

'*He steps so lightly to the land, 

All in his manly pride: 
He \issed her chee\, he pressed her hand, 

Yet still she glanced aside. 
'Too gay he seems' she dar\ly dreams, 

'Too gallant and too gay 
To thin\ of me — poor simple me — 

When he is far away!' 

7 bring my Love this goodly pearl 

Across the seas' he said: 
* A gem to dec\ the dearest girl 

That ever sailor wedl' 
She clasps it tight: her eyes are bright: 

Her throbbing heart would say 
'He thought of me — he thought of me — 

When he was far away!' 

The ship has sailed into the West: 

Her ocean-bird is flown: 
A dull dead pain is in her breast, 

And she is wea\ and lone: 
Yet there's a smile upon her face, 

A smile that seems to say 
'He'll thin\ of me — he'll thin\ of me — 

When he is far away! 

'Though waters wide between us glide, 
Our lives are warm and near: 



No distance parts two faithful hearts — 

Two hearts that love so dear: 
And I will trust my sailor-lad, 

For ever and a day, 
To thin\ of me — to thin\ of me — 

When he is far away!' " 

The look of displeasure, which had begun to come over 
Arthur's face when the young Captain spoke of Love so 
lightly, faded away as the song proceeded, and he listened 
with evident delight. But his face darkened again when 
Eric demurely remarked "Don't you think 'my soldier- 
lad' would have fitted the tune just as well!" 

"Why, so it would!" Lady Muriel gaily retorted. "Sol- 
diers, sailors, tinkers, tailors, what a lot of words would 
fit in! I think 'my tin\er\d.d! sounds best. Don't you?'' 

To spare my friend further pain, I rose to go, just as 
the Earl was beginning to repeat his particularly embar- 
rassing question about the flowers. 

"You have not yet — " 

"Yes, I've had some tea, thank you!" I hastily inter- 
rupted him. "And now we really must be going. Good 
evening. Lady Muriel!" And we made our adieux, and 
escaped, while the Earl was still absorbed in examining 
the mysterious bouquet. 

Lady Muriel accompanied us to the door. "You couldnt 
have given my father a more acceptable present!" she said, 
warmly. "He is so passionately fond of Botany. I'm afraid 
/ know nothing of the theory of it, but I keep his Hortus 
Siccus in order. I must get some sheets of blotting-paper, 
and dry these new treasures for him before they begin to 

''That won't be no good at all!" said Bruno, who was 
waiting for us in the garden. 


"Why won't it?" said I. "You know I had to give the 
flowers, to stop questions." 

"Yes, it ca'n't be helped," said Sylvie: "but they will be 
sorry when they find them gone!" 

"But how will they go?" 

"Well, I don't know how. But they will go. The nose- 
gay was only a Phlizz^ you know. Bruno made it up." 

These last words were in a whisper, as she evidently 
did not wish Arthur to hear. But of this there seemed 
to be little risk : he hardly seemed to notice the children, 
but paced on, silent and abstracted ; and when, at the en- 
trance to the wood, they bid us a hasty farewell and ran 
off, he seemed to wake out of a day-dream. 

The bouquet vanished, as Sylvie had predicted; and 
when, a day or two afterwards, Arthur and I once more 
visited the Hall, we found the Earl and his daughter, 
with the old housekeeper, out in the garden, examining 
the fastenings of the drawing-room window. 

"We are holding an Inquest," Lady Muriel said, ad- 
vancing to meet us: "and we admit you, as Accessories 
before the Fact, to tell us all you know about those 

"The Accessories before the Fact decline to answer any 
questions," I gravely replied. "And they reserve their de- 

"Well then, turn Queen's Evidence, please! The flowers 
have disappeared in the night," she went on, turning to 
Arthur, "and we are quite sure no one in the house has 
meddled with them. Somebody must have entered by the 
window — " 

"But the fastenings have not been tampered with," said 
the Earl. 

"It must have been while you were dining, my Lady," 
said the housekeeper. 


"That was it," said the Earl. "The thief must have seen 
you bring the flowers," turning to me, "and have noticed 
that you did not take them away. And he must have 
known their great value — they are simply priceless!'' he 
exclaimed, in sudden excitement. 

"And you never told us how you got them!" said Lady 

"Some day," I stammered, "I may be free to tell you. 
Just now, would you excuse me?" 

The Earl looked disappointed, but kindly said "Very 
well, we will ask no questions." 

"But we consider you a i^ery bad Queen's Evidence," 
Lady Muriel added playfully, as we entered the arbour. 
"We pronounce you to be an accomplice: and we sen- 
tence you to solitary confinement, and to be fed on bread 
and — butter. Do you take sugar ? " 

"It is disquieting, certainly," she resumed, when all 
"creature-comforts" had been duly supplied, "to find that 
the house has been entered by a thief — in this out-of-the- 
way place. If only the flowers had been eatables^ one might 
have suspected a thief of quite another shape — " 

"Yoii mean that universal explanation for all mysteri- 
ous disappearances, 'the cat did it'?" said Arthur. 

"Yes," she replied. "What a convenient thing it would 
be if all thieves had the same shape! It's so confusing to 
have some of them quadrupeds and others bipeds!" 

"It has occurred to me," said Arthur, "as a curious prob- 
lem in Teleology — the Science of Final Causes," he added, 
in answer to an enquiring look from Lady Muriel. 

"And a Final Cause is—?" 

"Well, suppose we say — the last of a series of connected 
events — each of the series being the cause of the next — 
for whose sake the first event takes place." 


"But the last event is practically an effect of the first, 
isn't it? And yet you call it a cause of it!" 

Arthur pondered a moment. "The words are rather 
confusing, I grant you," he said. "Will this do? The last 
event is an eflfect of the first: but the necessity for that 
event is a cause of the necessity for the first." 

"That seems clear enough," said Lady Muriel. "Now^ let 
us have the problem." 

"It's merely this. What object can w^e imagine in the 
arrangement by which each different size (roughly 
speaking) of living creatures has its special shape? For 
instance, the human race has one kind of shape — bipeds. 
Another set, ranging from the lion to the mouse, are 
quadrupeds. Go down a step or two further, and you 
come to insects with six legs — hexapods — a beautiful 
name, is it not? But beauty, in our sense of the word, 
seems to diminish as we go down: the creature becomes 
more — I won't say 'ugly' of any of God's creatures — more 
uncouth. And, when we take the microscope, and go a 
few steps lower still, we come upon animalculae, terribly 
uncouth, and with a terrible number of legs!" 

"The other alternative," said the Earl, "would be a 
diminuendo series of repetitions of the same type. Never 
mind the monotony of it: let's see how it would work 
in other ways. Begin with the race of men, and the crea- 
tures they require: let us say horses, cattle, sheep, and 
dogs — we don't exactly require frogs and spiders, do we, 

Lady Muriel shuddered perceptibly: it was evidently a 
painful subject. "We can dispense with them^^ she said 

"Well, then we'll have a second race of men, half-a- 
yard high — " 



-who would have one source of exquisite enjoyment, 
not possessed by ordinary men!" Arthur interrupted. 

''What source?" said the Earl. 

"Why, the grandeur of scenery! Surely the grandeur 
of a mountain, to me^ depends on its size^ relative to me? 
Double the height of the mountain, and of course it's 
twice as grand. Halve my height, and you produce the 
same effect." 

"Happy, happy, happy Small!" Lady Muriel murmur- 
ed rapturously. "None but the Short, none but the Short, 
none but the Short enjoy the Tall!" 

"But let me go on," said the Earl. "We'll have a third 
race of men, five inches high; a fourth race, an inch 
high " 

"They couldn't eat common beef and mutton, Fm 
sure!" Lady Muriel interrupted. 

"True, my child, I was forgetting. Each set must have 
its own cattle and sheep." 

"And its own vegetation," I added. "What could a cow, 
an inch high, do with grass that waved far above its 

"That is true. We must have a pasture within a pasture, 
so to speak. The common grass would serve our inch- 
high cows as a green forest of palms, while round the 
root of each tall stem would stretch a tiny carpet of micro- 
scopic grass. Yes, I think our scheme will work fairly 
well. And it would be very interesting, coming into con- 
tact with the races below us. What sweet little things the 
inch-high bull-dogs would be! I doubt if even Muriel 
would run away from one of them!" 

"Don't you think we ought to have a crescendo series, 
as well?" said Lady Muriel. "Only fancy being a hundred 
yards high! One could use an elephant as a paper-weight, 
and a crocodile as a pair of scissors!" 


"And would you have races of diflferent sizes communi- 
cate with one another?" I enquired. "Would they make 
war on one another, for instance, or enter into treaties?" 

''War we must exclude, I think. When you could crush 
a whole nation with one blow of your fist, you couldn't 
conduct war on equal terms. But anything, involving a 
collision of minds only, would be possible in our ideal 
world — for of course we must allow mental powers to 
all, irrespective of size. Perhaps the fairest rule would be 
that, the smaller the race, the greater should be its intel- 
lectual development!" 

"Do you mean to say," said Lady Muriel, "that these 
manikins of an inch high are to argue with me?" 

"Surely, surely!" said the Earl. "An argument doesn't 
depend for its logical force on the size of the creature that 
utters it!" 

She tossed her head indignantly. "I would not argue 
with any man less than six inches high!" she cried. "I'd 
make him wor\r 

"What at?" said Arthur, listening to all this nonsense 
with an amused smile. 

''Embroidery!'' she readily replied. "What lovely em- 
broidery they would do!" 

"Yet, if they did it wrong," I said, "you couldn't argue 
the question. I don't know why: but I agree that it 
couldn't be done." 

"The reason is," said Lady Muriel, "one couldn't sacri- 
fice one's dignity so far." 

"Of course one couldn't!" echoed Arthur. "Any more 
than one could argue with a potato. It would be alto- 
gether — excuse the ancient pun — infra dig,!'' 

"I doubt it," said I. "Even a pun doesn't quite convince 



"Well i£ that is not the reason," said Lady Muriel, 
"what reason would you give?" 

I tried hard to understand the meaning of this ques- 
tion : but the persistent humming o£ the bees confused me, 
and there was a drowsiness in the air that made every 
thought stop and go to sleep before it had got well 
thought out: so all I could say was "That must depend 
on the weight of the potato." 

I felt the remark was not so sensible as I should have 
liked it to be. But Lady Muriel seemed to take it quite 
as a matter of course. "In that case — " she began, but 
suddenly started, and turned away to listen. "Don't you 
hear him?" she said. "He's crying. We must go to him, 

And I said to myself "That's very strange! I quite 
thought it was Lady Muriel talking to me. Why, it's 
Sylvie all the while!" And I made another great eflfort 
to say something that should have some meaning in it. 
"Is it about the potato?" 

Chapter XXI 
Through the Ivory Door 

"I don't know," said Sylvie. "Hush! I must think. I 
could go to him, by myself, well enough. But I want you 
to come too." 

"Let me go with you," I pleaded. "I can walk as fast 
as you can, I'm sure." 

Sylvie laughed merrily. "What nonsense!" she cried. 
"Why, you ca'n't walk a bit! You're lying quite flat on 
your back! You don't understand these things." 

"I can walk as well as you can," I repeated. And I tried 


my best to walk a few steps : but the ground slipped away 
backwards, quite as fast as I could walk, so that I made 
no progress at all. Sylvie laughed again. 

"There, I told you so! You've no idea how funny you 
look, moving your feet about in the air, as if you were 
walking! Wait a bit. I'll ask the Professor what we'd bet- 
ter do." And she knocked at his study-door. 

The door opened, and the Professor looked out. 
"What's that crying I heard just now?" he asked. "Is it 
a human animal?" 

"It's a boy," Sylvie said. 

"I'm afraid you've been teasing him?" 

"No, indeed I haven't!" Sylvie said, very earnestly. "I 
never tease him!" 

"Well, I must ask the Other Professor about it." He 
went back into the study, and we heard him whispering 
"small human animal — says she hasn't been teasing him — 
the kind that's called Boy — " 

"Ask her which Boy," said a new voice. The Professor 
came out again. 

''Which Boy is it that you haven't been teasing?" 

Sylvie looked at me with twinkling eyes. "You dear 
old thing!" she exclaimed, standing on tiptoe to kiss him, 
while he gravely stooped to receive the salute. "How you 
do puzzle me! Why, there are several boys I haven't been 

The Professor returned to his friend : and this time the 
voice said "Tell her to bring them here — all of them!" 

"I ca'n't, and I won't!" Sylvie exclaimed, the moment 
he reappeared. "It's Bruno that's crying: and he's my 
brother : and, please, we both want to go : he ca'n't walk, 
you know: he's — he's dreaming^ you know" (this in a 
whisper, for fear of hurting my feelings). "Do let's go 
through the Ivory Door!" 


"Fll ask him," said the Professor, disappearing again. 
He returned directly. "He says you may. Follow me, and 
walk on tip-toe." 

The difficulty with me would have been, just then, not 
to walk on tip-toe. It seemed very hard to reach down far 
enough to just touch the floor, as Sylvie led me through 
the study. 

The Professor went before us to unlock the Ivory 
Door. I had just time to glance at the Other Professor, 
who was sitting reading, with his back to us, before the 
Professor showed us out through the door, and locked it 
behind us. Bruno was standing with his hands over his 
face, crying bitterly. 

"What's the matter, darling?" said Sylvie, with her 
arms round his neck. 

"Hurted mine self welly much!" sobbed the poor little 

"Fm so sorry, darling! How ever did you manage to 
hurt yourself so?" 

"Course I managed it!" said Bruno, laughing through 
his tears. "Does oo think nobody else but oo can't manage 

Matters were looking distinctly brighter, now Bruno 
had begun to argue. "Come, let's hear all about it!" I 

"My foot took it into its head to slip — " Bruno began. 

"A foot hasn't got a head!" Sylvie put in, but all in 

"I slipted down the bank. And I tripted over a stone. 
And the stone hurted my foot! And I trod on a Bee. And 
the Bee stinged my finger!" Poor Bruno sobbed again. 
The complete list of woes was too much for his feelings. 
"And it knewed I didn't mean to trod on it!" he added, as 
the climax. 


"That Bee should be ashamed of itself!" I said severely, 
and Sylvie hugged and kissed the wounded hero till all 
tears were dried. 

"My finger's quite unstung now!" said Bruno. "Why 
doos there be stones? Mister Sir, doos oo know?" 

"They're good for something^'' I said: "even if we don't 
know what. What's the good of dandelions^ now?" 

"Dindledums?" said Bruno. "Oh, they're ever so pretty! 
And stones aren't pretty, one bit. Would oo like some 
dindledums, Mister Sir?" 

"Bruno!" Sylvie murmured reproachfully. "You 
mustn't say 'Mister' and 'Sir,' both at once! Remember 
what I told you!" 

"You telled me I were to say 'Mister' when I spoked 
about him, and I were to say 'Sir' when I spoked to 

"Well, you're not doing both^ you know." 

"Ah, but I is doing bofe. Miss Praticular!" Bruno ex- 
claimed triumphantly. "I wishted to speak about the 
Gemplun — and I wishted to speak to the Gemplun. So a 
course I said 'Mister Sir'!" 

"That's all right, Bruno," I said. 

''Course it's all right!" said Bruno. "Sylvie just knows 
nuffin at all!" 

"There never was an impertinenter boy!" said Sylvie, 
frowning till her bright eyes were nearly invisible. 

"And there never was an ignoranter girl!" retorted 
Bruno. "Come along and pick some dindledums. That's 
all she s fit for!'' he added in a very loud whisper to me. 

"But why do you say 'Dindledums,' Bruno? Dande- 
lions is the right word." 

"It's because he jumps about so," Sylvie said, laughing. 

"Yes, that's it," Bruno assented. "Sylvie tells me the 


words, and then, when I jump about, they get shooken 
up in my head — till they're all froth!" 

I expressed myself as perfectly satisfied with this ex- 
planation. "But aren't you going to pick me any dindle- 
dums, after all?" 

"Course we will!" cried Bruno. "Come along, Sylvie!" 
And the happy children raced away, bounding over the 
turf with the fleetness and grace of young antelopes. 

"Then you didn't find your way back to Outland?" I 
said to the Professor. 

"Oh yes, I did!" he replied, "We never got to Queer 
Street; but I found another way. I've been backwards 
and forwards several times since then. I had to be present 
at the Election, you know, as the author of the new 
Money-Act. The Emperor was so kind as to wish that / 
should have the credit of it. 'Let come what come may,' 
(I remember the very words of the Imperial Speech) *if 
it should turn out that the Warden is alive, you will bear 
witness that the change in the coinage is the Professor's 
doing, not mine!'' I never was so glorified in my life, be- 
fore!" Tears trickled down his cheeks at the recollection, 
which apparently was not wholly a pleasant one. 

"Is the Warden supposed to be dead?'' 

"Well, it's supposed so: but, mind you, / don't believe 
it! The evidence is very weak — mere hear-say. A wander- 
ing Jester, with a Dancing-Bear (they found their way 
into the Palace, one day) has been telling people he comes 
from Fairyland, and that the Warden died there. / want- 
ed the Vice-Warden to question him, but, most unluckily, 
he and my Lady were always out walking when the 
Jester came round. Yes, the Warden's supposed to be 
dead!" And more tears trickled down the old man's 


"But what is the new Money-Act?" 

The Professor brightened up again. "The Emperor 
started the thing," he said. "He wanted to make every- 
body in Outland twice as rich as he was before — just to 
make the new Government popular. Only there wasn't 
nearly enough money in the Treasury to do it. So / sug- 
gested that he might do it by doubling the value of every 
coin and bank-note in Outland. It's the simplest thing 
possible. I wonder nobody ever thought of it before! And 
you never saw such universal joy. The shops are full from 
morning to night. Everybody's buying everything!" 

"And how was the glorifying done?" 

A sudden gloom overcast the Professor's jolly face. 
"They did it as I went home after the Election," he 
mournfully replied. "It was kindly meant — but I didn't 
like it! They waved flags all round me till I was nearly 
blind: and they rang bells till I was nearly deaf: and they 
strewed the road so thick with flowers that I lost my 
way!" And the poor old man sighed deeply. 

"How far is it to Outland?" I asked, to change the 

"About five days' march. But one must go back — oc- 
casionally. You see, as Court-Professor, I have to be al- 
ways in attendance on Prince Uggug. The Empress 
would be very angry if I left him, even for an hour." 

"But surely, every time you come here, you are absent 
ten davs, at least?" 

"Oh, more than that!" the Professor exclaimed. "A fort- 
night, sometimes. But of course I keep a memorandum 
of the exact time when I started, so that I can put the 
Court-time back to the very moment!" 

"Excuse me," I said. "I don't understand." 

Silently the Professor drew from his pocket a square 
gold watch, with six or eight hands, and held it out for 


my inspection. "This," he began, "is an Outlandish 

"So I should have thought." 

" — which has the peculiar property that, instead of 
its going with the time^ the time goes with it, I trust 
you understand me now?" 

"Hardly," I said. 

"Permit me to explain. So long as it is let alone, it takes 
its own course. Time has no effect upon it." 

"I have known such watches," I remarked. 

"It goes, of course, at the usual rate. Only the time has 
to go with it. Hence, if I move the hands, I change the 
time. To move them forwards, in advance of the true 
time, is impossible: but I can move them as much as a 
month backwards — that is the limit. And then you have 
the events all over again — with any alterations experience 
may suggest." 

*''What a blessing such a watch would be," I thought, 
"in real life! To be able to unsay some heedless word — 
to undo some reckless deed! Might I see the thing done?" 

"With pleasure!" said the good natured Professor. 
"When I move this hand back to here,'' pointing out the 
place, "History goes back fifteen minutes!" 

Trembling with excitement, I watched him push the 
hand round as he described. 

"Hurted mine self welly much!" 

Shrilly and suddenly the words rang in my ears, and, 
more startled than I cared to show, I turned to look for 
the speaker. 

Yes! There was Bruno, standing with the tears run- 
ning down his cheeks, just as I had seen him a quarter 
of an hour ago; and there was Sylvie with her arms round 
his neck! 

I had not the heart to make the dear little fellow go 


through his troubles a second time, so hastily begged the 
Professor to push the hands rounds into their former 
position. In a moment Sylvie and Bruno were gone again, 
and I could just see them in the far distance, picking 

"Wonderful, indeed!" I exclaimed. 

"It has another property, yet more wonderful," said 
the Professor. "You see this little peg? That is called the 
'Reversal Peg.' If you push it in, the events of the next 
hour happen in the reverse order. Do not try it now. I 
will lend you the Watch for a few days, and you can 
amuse yourself with experiments." 

"Thank you very much!" I said as he gave me the 
Watch. "I'll take the greatest care of it — why, here are 
the children again!" 

"We could only but find six dindledums," said Bruno, 
putting them into my hands, " 'cause Sylvie said it were 
time to go back. And here's a big blackberry for ooself! 
We couldn't only find but twoT 

"Thank you : it's very nice," I said. And I suppose you 
ate the other, Bruno?" 

"No, I didn't," Bruno said, carelessly. ''Aren't they 
pretty dindledums. Mister Sir?" 

"Yes, very: but what makes you limp so, my child?" 

"Mine foot's come hurted again!" Bruno mournfully 
replied. And he sat down on the ground, and began 
nursing it. 

The Professor held his head between his hands — an at- 
titude that I knew indicated distraction of mind. "Better 
rest a minute," he said. "It may be better then — or it may 
be worse. If only I had some of my medicines here! I'm 
Court-Physician, you know," he added, aside to me. 

"Shall I go and get you some blackberries, darling?" 


Sylvie whispered, with her arms round his neck ; and she 
kissed away a tear that was trickUng down his cheek. 

Bruno brightened up in a moment. "That are a good 
plan!" he exclaimed. "I thinks my foot would come quite 
unhurted, i£ I eated a blackberry — two or three black- 
berries — six or seven blackberries — " 

Sylvie got up hastily. "Fd better go," she said, aside to 
me, "before he gets into the double figures!" 

"Let me come and help you," I said. "I can reach higher 
up than you can." 

"Yes, please," said Sylvie, putting her hand into mine: 
and we walked off together. 

"Bruno loves blackberries," she said, as we paced slow- 
ly along by a tall hedge, that looked a promising place 
for them, "and it was so sweet of him to make me eat 
the only one!" 

"Oh, it was you that ate it, then? Bruno didn't seem to 
like to tell me about it." 

"No; I saw that," said Sylvie. "He's always afraid of 
being praised. But he made me eat it, really! I would 
much rather he — oh, what's that?" And she clung to my 
hand, half -frightened, as we came in sight of a hare, lying 
on its side with legs stretched out, just in the entrance to 
the wood. 

"It's a hare^ my child. Perhaps it's asleep." 

"No, it isn't asleep," Sylvie said, timidly going nearer 
to look at it: "it's eyes are open. Is it — is it — " her voice 
dropped to an awe-struck whisper, "is it dead^ do vou 

"Yes, it's quite dead," I said, after stooping to examine 
it. "Poor thing! I think it's been hunted to death. I know 
the harriers were out yesterday. But they haven't touched 
it. Perhaps they caught sight of another, and left it to 
die of fright and exhaustion." 


"Hunted to death?'' Sylvie repeated to herself, very 
slowly and sadly. "I thought hunting was a thing they 
played at — like a game. Bruno and I hunt snails: but we 
never hurt them when we catch them!" 

"Sweet angel!" I thought. "How am I to get the idea 
of Sport into your innocent mind?" And as we stood, 
hand-in-hand, looking down at the dead hare, I tried to 
put the thing into such words as she could understand. 
"You know what fierce wild-beasts lions and tigers are?" 
Sylvie nodded. "Well, in some countries men have to kill 
them, to save their own lives, you know." 

"Yes," said Sylvie: "if one tried to kill me^ Bruno 
would kill it — if he could." 

"Well, and so the men — the hunters — get to enjoy it, 
you know : the running, and the fighting, and the shout- 
ing, and the danger." 

"Yes," said Sylvie. "Bruno likes danger." 

"Well, but, in this country, there aren't any lions and 
tigers, loose: so they hunt other creatures, you see." I 
hoped, but in vain, that this would satisfy her, and that 
she would ask no more questions. 

"They hunt foxeSy' Sylvie said, thoughtfully. "And I 
think they /{ill them, too. Foxes are very fierce. I daresay 
men don t love them. Are hares fierce?" 

"No," I said. "A hare is a sweet, gentle, timid animal — 
almost as gentle as a lamb." 

"But, if men lot/e hares, why — why — "her voice quiv- 
ered, and her sweet eyes were brimming over with tears. 

"I'm afraid they dont love them, dear child." 

"All children love them," Sylvie said. "All ladies love 

"I'm afraid even ladies go to hunt them, sometimes." 

Sylvie shuddered. "Oh, no, not ladies!'' she earnestly 
pleaded. "Not Lady Muriel!" 


"No, she never does, Fm sure — but this is too sad a 
sight for you^ dear. Let's try and find some — " 

But Sylvie was not satisfied yet. In a hushed, solemn 
tone, with bowed head and clasped hands, she put her 
final question. "Does God love hares?" 

"Yes!" I said. "I'm sure He does! He loves every living 
thing. Even sinful men. How much more the animals, 
that cannot sin!" 

"I don't know what 'sin' means," said Sylvie. And I 
didn't try to explain it. 

"Come, my child," I said, trying to lead her away. 
"Wish good-bye to the poor hare, and come and look for 

"Good-bye, poor hare!" Sylvie obediently repeated, 
looking over her shoulder at it as we turned away. And 
then, all in a moment, her self-command gave way. Pull- 
ing her hand out of mine, she ran back to where the 
dead hare was lying, and flung herself down at its side 
in such an agony of grief as I could hardly have believed 
possible in so young a child. 

"Oh, my darling, my darling!" she moaned, over and 
over again. "And God meant your life to be so beautiful!" 

Sometimes, but always keeping her face hidden on the 
ground, she would reach out one little hand, to stroke 
the poor dead thing, and then once more bury her face 
in her hands, and sob as if her heart would break. 

I was afraid she would really make herself ill: still I 
thought it best to let her weep away the first sharp agony 
of grief: and, after a few minutes, the sobbing gradually 
ceased, and Sylvie rose to her feet, and looked calmly 
at me, though tears were still streaming down her cheeks. 

I did not dare to speak again, just yet; but simply held 
out my hand to her, that we might quit the melancholy 


"Yes, ril come now," she said. Very reverently she 
kneeled down, and kissed the dead hare; then rose and 
gave me her hand, and we moved on in silence. 

A child's sorrow is violent, but short; and it was almost 
in her usual voice that she said, after a minute, "Oh 
stop, stop! Here are some lovely blackberries!" 

We filled our hands with fruit, and returned in all 
haste to where the Professor and Bruno were seated on a 
bank, awaiting our return. 

Just before we came within hearing-distance, Sylvie 
checked me. "Please don't tell Bruno about the hare!" 
she said. 

"Very well, my child. But why not?" 

Tears again glittered in those sweet eyes, and she turned 
her head away, so that I could scarcely hear her reply. 
"He's — he's very jond of gentle creatures, you know. And 
he'd — he'd be so sorry! I don't want him to be made 

"And your agony of sorrow is to count for nothing, 
then, sweet unselfish child!" I thought to myself. But no 
more was said till we had reached our friends; and Bruno 
was far too much engrossed, in the feast we had brought 
him, to take any notice of Sylvie's unusually grave 

"I'm afraid it's getting rather late. Professor?" I said. 

"Yes, indeed," said the Professor. "I must take you all 
through the Ivory Door again. You've stayed your full 

"Mightn't we stay a little longer!" pleaded Sylvie. 

"Just one minute!" added Bruno. 

But the Professor was unyielding. "It's a great privilege, 
coming through at all," he said. "We must go now." And 
we followed him obediently to the Ivory Door, which he 
threw open, and signed to me to go through first. 


"You're coming too, aren't you?" I said to Sylvie. 

"Yes," she said: "but you won't see us after you've gone 

"But suppose I wait for you outside?" I asked, as I 
stepped through the doorway. 

"In that case," said Sylvie, "I think the potato would be 
quite justified in asking your weight. I can quite^ imagine 
a really superior kidney-potato declining to argue with 
any one under fifteen stone!'' 

With a great effort I recovered the thread of my 
thoughts. "We lapse very quickly into nonsense!" I said. 

Chapter XXII 
Crossing the Line 

"Let us lapse back again," said Lady Muriel. "Take an- 
other cup of tea? I hope that's sound common sense?" 

"And all that strange adventure," I thought, "has oc- 
cupied the space of a single comma in Lady Muriel's 
speech! A single comma, for which grammarians tell us 
to 'count oneT (I felt no doubt that the Professor had 
kindly put back the time for me, to the exact point at 
which I had gone to sleep.) 

When a few minutes afterwards, we left the house, Ar- 
thur's first remark was certainly a strange one. "We've 
been there just twenty minutes^'' he said, "and I've done 
nothing but listen to you and Lady Muriel talking: and 
yet, somehow, I feel exactly as if / had been talking with 
her for an hour at least!" 

And so he had been, I felt no doubt: only, as the time 


had been put back to the beginning of the tete-a-tete he 
referred to, the whole of it had passed into obhvion, if not 
into nothingness! But I valued my own reputation for 
sanity too highly to venture on explaining to him what 
had happened. 

For some cause, which I could not at the moment di- 
vine, Arthur was unusually grave and silent during our 
walk home. It could not be connected with Eric Lindon, 
I thought, as he had for some days been away in London : 
so that, having Lady Muriel almost "all to himself" — for 
/ was only too glad to hear those two conversing, to have 
any wish to intrude any remarks of my own — he ought, 
theoretically, to have been specially radiant and contented 
with life. "Can he have heard any bad news?" I said to 
myself. And, almost as if he had read my thoughts, he 

"He will be here by the last train," he said, in the tone 
of one who is continuing a conversation rather than be- 
ginning one. 

"Captain Lindon, do you mean?" 

"Yes — Captain Lindon," said Arthur: "I said 'he,' be- 
cause I fancied we were talking about him. The Earl told 
me he comes to-night, though to-morrow is the day when 
he will know about the Commission that he's hoping for. 
I wonder he doesn't stay another day to hear the result, if 
he's really so anxious about it as the Earl believe^ he is." 

"He can have a telegram sent after him," I said: "but 
it's not very soldier-like, running away from possible bad 

"He's a very good fellow," said Arthur: "but I confess it 
would be good news for me, if he got his Commission, 
and his Marching Orders all at once! I wish him all happi- 
ness — with one exception. Good night!" (We had reached 


home by this time.) "I'm not good company to-night — 
better be alone." 

It was much the same, next day. Arthur declared he 
wasn't fit for Society, and I had to set forth alone for an 
afternoon-stroll. I took the road to the Station, and, at the 
point where the road from the "Hall" joined it, I paused, 
seeing my friends in the distance, seemingly bound for 
the same goal. 

"Will you join us?" the Earl said, after I had exchanged 
greetings with him, and Lady Muriel, and Captain Lin- 
don. "This restless young man is expecting a telegram, 
and we are going to the Station to meet it." 

"There is also a restless young woman in the case," 
Lady Muriel added. 

"That goes without saying, my child," said her father. 
"Women are always restless!" 

"For generous appreciation of all one's best qualities," 
his daughter impressively remarked, "there's nothing to 
compare with a father, is there, Eric?" 

"Cousins are not 'in it,' " said Eric: and then somehow 
the conversation lapsed into two duologues, the younger 
folk taking the lead, and the two old men following with 
less eager steps. 

"And when are we to see your little friends again?" said 
the Earl. "They are singularly attractive children." 

"I shall be delighted to bring them, when I can," I said. 
"But I don't know, myself, when I am likely to see them 

"I'm not going to question you," said the Earl: "but 
there's no harm in mentioning that Muriel is simply tor- 
mented with curiosity! We know most of the people 
about here, and she has been vainly trying to guess what 
house they can possibly be staying at." 


"Some day I may be able to enlighten her: but just at 
present — " 

"Thanks. She must bear it as best she can. / tell her it's 
a grand opportunity for practising patience. But she hard- 
ly sees it from that point of view. Why, there are the chil- 

So indeed they were: waiting (for us^ apparently) at a 
stile, which they could not have climbed over more than 
a few moments, as Lady Muriel and her cousin had pass- 
ed it without seeing them. On catching sight of us, Bruno 
ran to meet us, and to exhibit to us, with much pride, the 
handle of a clasp-knife — the blade having been broken oflE 
— which he had picked up in the road. 

"And what shall you use it for, Bruno?" I said. 

"Don't know," Bruno carelessly replied: "must think." 

"A child's first view of life," the Earl remarked, with 
that sweet sad smile of his, "is that it is a period to be 
spent in accumulating portable property. That view gets 
modified as the years glide away." And he held out his 
hand to Sylvie, who had placed herself by me, looking a 
little shy of him. 

But the gentle old man was not one with whom any 
child, human or fairy, could be shy for long; and she had 
very soon deserted my hand for his — Bruno alone remain- 
ing faithful to his first friend. We overtook the other 
couple just as they reached the Station, and both Lady 
Muriel and Eric greeted the children as old friends — the 
latter with the words "So you got to Babylon by candle- 
light, after all?" 

"Yes, and back again!" cried Bruno. 

Lady Muriel looked from one to the other in blank as- 
tonishment. "What, you know them, Eric?" she exclaim- 
ed. "This mystery grows deeper every day!" 


"Then we must be somewhere in the Third Act," said 
Eric. "You don't expect the mystery to be cleared up till 
the Fifth Act, do you?" 

"But it's such a long drama!" was the plaintive reply. 
"We must have got to the Fifth Act by this time!" 

''Third Act, I assure you," said the young soldier merci- 
lessly. "Scene, a railway-platform. Lights down. Enter 
Prince (in disguise, of course) and faithful Attendant. 
This is the Prince — " (taking Bruno's hand) "and here 
stands his humble Servant! What is your Royal High- 
ness's next command?" And he made a most courtier-like 
lovv^ bow to his puzzled little friend. 

"Oo're not a Servant!" Bruno scornfully exclaimed. 
"Oo're a Gemplun!'' 

''Servant^ I assure your Royal Highness!" Eric respect- 
fully insisted. "Allow me to mention to your Royal High- 
ness my various situations — past, present, and future." 

"What did 00 begin wiz?" Bruno asked, beginning to 
enter into the jest. "Was oo a shoe-black?" 

"Lower than that, your Royal Highness! Years ago, I 
offered myself as a Slave — as a 'Confidential Slave,' I 
think it's called?" he asked, turning to Lady Muriel. 

But Lady Muriel heard him not: something had gone 
wrong with her glove, which entirely engrossed her atten- 

"Did 00 get the place?" said Bruno. 

"Sad to say, your Royal Highness, I did not! So I had 
to take a situation as — as Waiter, which I have now held 
for some years — haven't L^" He again glanced at Lady 

"Sylvie dear, do help me to button this glove!" Lady 
Muriel whispered, hastily stooping down, and failing to 
hear the question. 


"And what will 00 be next?'' said Bruno. 

"My next place will, I hope, be that of Groom, And af- 
ter that—" 

"Don't puzzle the child so!" Lady Muriel interrupted. 
^'What nonsense you talk!" 

" — after that," Eric persisted, "I hope to obtain the sit- 
uation of Housef^eeper, which — Fourth Act!'' he pro- 
claimed, with a sudden change of tone. "Lights turned up. 
Red lights. Green lights. Distant rumble heard. Enter a 

And in another minute the train drew up alongside of 
the platform, and a stream of passengers began to flow out 
from the booking office and waiting-rooms. 

"Did you ever make real life into a drama?" said the 
Earl. "Now just try. I've often amused myself that way. 
Consider this platform as our stage. Good entrances and 
exits on both sides, you see. Capital background scene: 
real engine moving up and down. All this bustle, and 
people passing to and fro, must have been most carefully 
rehearsed! How naturally they do it! With never a glance 
at the audience! And every grouping is quite fresh, you 
see. No repetition!" 

It really was admirable, as soon as I began to enter into 
it from this point of view. Even a porter passing, with a 
barrow piled with luggage, seemed so realistic that one 
was tempted to applaud. He was followed by an angry 
mother, with hot red face, dragging along two screaming 
children, and calling, to some one behind, "John! Come 
on!" Enter, John, very meek, very silent, and loaded with 
parcels. And he was followed, in his turn, by a frightened 
little nursemaid, carrying a fat baby, also screaming. All 
the children screamed. 

"Capital byplay!" said the old man aside. "Did you no- 


tice the nursemaid's look of terror? It was simply per- 

"You have struck quite a new vein," I said. "To most 
of us Life and its pleasures seem like a mine that is nearly 
worked out." 

"Worked out!" exclaimed the Earl. "For any one with 
true dramatic instincts, it is only the Overture that is end- 
ed! The real treat has yet to begin. You go to a theatre, 
and pay your ten shillings for a stall, and what do you get 
for your money ? Perhaps it's a dialogue between a couple 
of farmers — unnatural in their overdone caricature of 
farmers' dress — more unnatural in their constrained atti- 
tudes and gestures — most unnatural in their attempts at 
ease and geniality in their talk. Go instead and take a seat 
in a third-class railway-carriage, and you'll get the same 
dialogue done to the life! Front-seats — no orchestra to 
block the view — and nothing to pay!" 

"Which reminds me," said Eric. "There is nothing to 
pay on receiving a telegram! Shall we enquire for one?" 
And he and Lady Muriel strolled off in the direction of 
the Telegraph-Office. 

"I wonder if Shakespeare had that thought in his 
mind," I said, "when he wrote *A11 the world's a stage'?" 

The old man sighed. "And so it is," he said, "look at it 
as you will. Life is indeed a drama; a drama with but few 
encores — and no bouquets!'' he added dreamily. "We 
spend one half of it in regretting the things we did in the 
other half!" 

"And the secret of enjoying it," he continued, resuming 
his cheerful tone, "is intensity!'' 

"But not in the modern aesthetic sense, I presume? Like 
the young lady, in Punch, who begins a conversation with 
*Are you intense?' " 


"By no means!" replied the Earl. "What I mean is in- 
tensity of thought — a concentrated attention. We lose half 
the pleasure we might have in Life, by not really attend- 
ing. Take any instance you like: it doesn't matter how 
trivial the pleasure may be — the principle is the same. Sup- 
pose A and B are reading the same second-rate circulat- 
ing-library novel. A never troubles himself to master the 
relationships of the characters, on which perhaps all the 
interest of the story depends: he 'skips' over all the de- 
scriptions of scenery, and every passage that looks rather 
dull: he doesn't half attend to the passages he does read: 
he goes on reading — merely from want of resolution to 
find another occupation — for hours after he ought to have 
put the book aside: and reaches the 'finis' in a state of 
utter weariness and depression! B puts his whole soul 
into the thing — on the principle that 'whatever is worth 
doing is worth doing weW : he masters the genealogies : he 
calls up pictures before his 'mind's eye' as he reads about 
the scenery : best of all, he resolutely shuts the book at the 
end of some chapter, while his interest is yet at its keenest, 
and turns to other subjects; so that, when next he allows 
himself an hour at it, it is like a hungry man sitting down 
to dinner: and, when the book is finished, he returns to 
the work of his daily life like 'a giant refreshed'!" 

"But suppose the book were really rubbish — nothing to 
repay attention?" 

"Well, suppose it," said the Earl. "My theory meets that 
case, I assure you! A never finds out that it is rubbish, but 
maunders on to the end, trying to believe he's enjoying 
himself. B quietly shuts the book, when he's read a dozen 
pages, walks of? to the Library, and changes it for a bet- 
ter! I have yet another theory for adding to the enjoyment 
of Life — that is, if I have not exhausted your patience? 
I'm afraid you find me a very garrulous old man." 


"No indeed!" I exclaimed earnesdy. And indeed I felt 
as if one could not easily tire of the sweet sadness of that 
gentle voice. 

"It is, that we should learn to take our pleasures quickj 
ly, and our pains slowly,'' 

"But why? I should have put it the other way, myself." 

"By taking artificial pain — which can be as trivial as 
you please — slowly, the result is that, when real pain 
comes, however severe, all you need do is to let it go at its 
ordinary pace, and it's over in a moment!" 

"Very true," I said, "but how about the pleasure?'' 

"Why, by taking it quick, you can get so much more 
into life. It takes you three hours and a half to hear and 
enjoy an opera. Suppose / can take it in, and enjoy it, in 
half-an-hour. Why, I can enjoy seven operas, while you 
are listening to onel" 

"Always supposing you have an orchestra capable of 
playing them," I said. "And that orchestra has yet to be 

The old man smiled. "I have heard an air played," he 
said, "and by no means a short one — played right through, 
variations and all, in three seconds!" 

"When? And how?" I asked eagerly, with a half-notion 
that I was dreaming again. 

"It was done by a little musical-box," he quietly replied. 
"After it had been wound up, the regulator, or something, 
broke, and it ran down, as I said, in about three seconds. 
But it must have played all the notes, you know!" 

"Did you enjoy it?" I asked, with all the severity of a 
cross-examining barrister. 

"No, I didn't!" he candidly confessed. "But then, you 
know, I hadn't been trained to that kind of music!" 

"I should much like to try your plan," I said, and, as 
Sylvie and Bruno happened to run up to us at the mo- 


ment, I left them to keep the Earl company, and strolled 
along the platform, making each person and event play 
its part in an extempore drama for my especial benefit. 
"What, is the Earl tired of you already?" I said, as the 
children ran past me. 

"No!" Sylvie replied with great emphasis. "He wants 
the evening-paper. So Bruno's going to be a little news- 

"Mind you charge a good price for it!" I called after 

Returning up the platform, I came upon Sylvie alone. 
"Well, child," I said, "where's your little news-boy? 
Couldn't he get you an evening-paper?" 

"He went to get one at the book-stall at the other side," 
said Sylvie; "and he's coming across the line with it — oh, 
Bruno, you ought to cross by the bridge!" for the distant 
thud, thud, of the Express was already audible. Sudden- 
ly a look of horror came over her face. "Oh, he's fallen 
down on the rails!" she cried, and darted past me at a 
speed that quite defied the hasty effort I made to stop her. 

But the wheezy old Station-Master happened to be close 
behind me: he wasn't good for much, poor old man, but 
he was good for this; and, before I could turn round, he 
had the child clasped in his arms, saved from the certain 
death she was rushing to. So intent was I in watching this 
scene, that I hardly saw a flying figure in a light grey suit, 
who shot across from the back of the platform, and was 
on the line in another second. So far as one could take 
note of time in such a moment of horror, he had about ten 
clear seconds, before the Express would be upon him, in 
which to cross the rails and to pick up Bruno. Whether he 
did so or not it was quite impossible to guess: the next 
thing one knew was that the Express had passed, and that, 


whether for Hfe or death, all was over. When the cloud o£ 
dust had cleared away, and the line was once more visible, 
we saw with thankful hearts that the child and his de- 
liverer were safe. 

"All right!" Eric called to us cheerfully, as he recrossed 
the line. "He's more frightened than hurt!" 

He lifted the little fellow up into Lady Muriel's arms, 
and mounted the platform as gaily as if nothing had hap- 
pened : but he was as pale as death, and leaned heavily on 
the arm I hastily oflfered him, fearing he was about to 
faint. "I'll just — sit down a moment — " he said dreamily: 
" — where's Sylvie?" 

Sylvie ran to him, and flung her arms round his neck, 
sobbing as if her heart would break. "Don't do that, my 
darling!" Eric murmured, with a strange look in his eyes. 
"Nothing to cry about now, you know. But you very 
nearly got yourself killed for nothing!" 

"For Bruno!" the little maiden sobbed. "And he would 
have done it for me. Wouldn't you, Bruno?" 

"Course I would!" Bruno said, looking round with a 
bewildered air. 

Lady Muriel kissed him in silence as she put him down 
out of her arms. Then she beckoned Sylvie to come and 
take his hand, and signed to the children to go back to 
where the Earl was seated. "Tell him," she whispered with 
quivering lips, "tell him — all is well!" Then she turned to 
the hero of the day. "I thought it was death^' she said. 
"Thank God, you are safe! Did you see how near it was?" 

"I saw there was just time," Eric said lightly. "A soldier 
must learn to carry his life in his hand, you know. I'm all 
right now. Shall we go to the telegraph-office again? I 
daresay it's come by this time." 

I went to join the Earl and the children, and we waited 


— almost in silence, for no one seemed inclined to talk, 
and Bruno was half-asleep on Sylvie's lap — till the others 
joined us. No telegram had come. 

"I'll take a stroll with the children," I said, feeling that 
we were a little de trop^ "and I'll look in, in the course of 
the evening." 

"We must go back into the wood, now," Sylvie said, as 
soon as we were out of hearing. "We ca'n't stay this size 
any longer." 

"Then you will be quite tiny Fairies, again, next time 
we meet?" 

"Yes," said Sylvie: "but we'll be children again some 
day — if you'll let us. Bruno's very anxious to see Lady 
Muriel again." 

"She are welly nice," said Bruno. 

"I shall be very glad to take you to see her again," I said. 
"Hadn't I better give you back the Professor's Watch? 
It'll be too large for you to carry when you're Fairies, you 

Bruno laughed merrily. I was glad to see he had quite 
recovered from the terrible scene he had gone through. 
"Oh, no, it won't!" he said. "When we go small, it'll go 

"And then it'll go straight to the Professor," Sylvie add- 
ed, "and you won't be able to use it any more: so you'd 
better use it all you can, now. We must go small when the 
sun sets. Good-bye!" 

"Good-bye!" cried Bruno. But their voices sounded very 
far away, and, when I looked round, both children had 

"And it wants only two hours to sunset!" I said as I 
strolled on. "I must make the best of my time!" 

Chapter XXIII 
An Outlandish Watch 

A s I entered the Httle town, I came upon two of the fish- 
ermen's wives interchanging that last word "which never 
was the last": and it occurred to me, as an experiment 
with the Magic Watch, to wait till the little scene was 
over, and then to "encore" it. 

"Well, good night t'ye! And ye winna forget to send 
us word when your Martha writes?" 

"Nay, ah winna forget. An' if she isn't suited, she can 
but coom back. Good night t'ye!" 

A casual observer might have thought "and there ends 
the dialogue!" That casual observer would have been mis- 

"Ah, she'll like 'em, I war'n' ye! They'll not treat her 
bad, yer may depend. They're varry canny fowk. Good 

"Ay, they are that! Good night!" 

"Good night! And ye'U send us word if she writes?" 

"Aye, ah will, yer may depend! Good night t'ye!" 

And at last they parted. I waited till they were some 
twenty yards apart, and then put the Watch a minute 
back. The instantaneous change was startling: the two 
figures seemed to flash back into their former places. 

" — isn't suited, she can but coom back. Good night 
t'ye!" one of them was saying: and so the whole dialogue 
was repeated, and, when they had parted for the second 
time, I let them go their several ways, and strolled on 
through the town. 

"But the real usefulness of this magic power," I thought, 
"would be to undo some harm, some painful event, some 



accident — " I had not long to wait for an opportunity of 
testing this property also of the Magic Watch, for, even as 
the thought passed through my mind, the accident I was 
imagining occurred. A light cart was standing at the door 
of the "Great Millinery Depot" of Elveston, laden with 
card-board packing-cases, which the driver was carrying 
into the shop, one by one. One of the cases had fallen into 
the street, but it scarcely seemed worth while to step for- 
ward and pick it up, as the man would be back again in a 
moment. Yet, in that moment, a young man riding a bi- 
cycle came sharp round the corner of the street and, in 
trying to avoid running over the box, upset his machine, 
and was thrown headlong against the wheel of the spring- 
cart. The driver ran out to his assistance, and he and I 
together raised the unfortunate cyclist and carried him in- 
to the shop. His head was cut and bleeding; and one 
knee seemed to be badly injured; and it was speedily 
settled that he had better be conveyed at once to the only 
Surgery in the place. I helped them in emptying the cart, 
and placing in it some pillows for the wounded man to 
rest on; and it was only when the driver had mounted to 
his place, and was starting for the Surgery, that I be- 
thought me of the strange power I possessed of undoing 
all this harm. 

"Now is my time!" I said to myself, as I moved back the 
hand of the Watch, and saw, almost without surprise this 
time, all things restored to the places they had occupied at 
the critical moment when I had first noticed the fallen 

Instantly I stepped out into the street, picked up the 
box, and replaced it In the cart: in the next moment the 
bicycle had spun round the corner, passed the cart with- 
out let or hindrance, and soon vanished in the distance, 
in a cloud of dust. 


"Delightful power of magic!" I thought. "How much 
of human suffering I have — not only relieved, but actually 
annihilated!" And, in a glow of conscious virtue, I stood 
watching the unloading of the cart, still holding the Ma- 
gic Watch open in my hand, as I was curious to see what 
would happen when we again reached the exact time at 
which I had put back the hand. 

The result was one that, if only I had considered the 
thing carefully, I might have foreseen : as the hand of the 
Watch touched the mark, the spring-cart — which had 
driven off, and was by this time half-way down the street, 
was back again at the door, and in the act of starting, 
while — oh woe for the golden dream of world-wide 
benevolence that had dazzled my dreaming fancy! — the 
wounded youth was once more reclining on the heap of 
pillows, his pale face set rigidly in the hard lines that told 
of pain resolutely endured. 

"Oh mocking Magic Watch!" I said to myself, as I 
passed out of the little town, and took the seaward road 
that led to my lodgings. "The good I fancied I could do is 
vanished like a dream : the evil of this troublesome world 
is the only abiding reality!" 

And now I must record an experience so strange, that I 
think it only fair, before beginning to relate it, to release 
my much-enduring reader from any obligation he may 
feel to believe this part of my story. / would not have be- 
lieved it, I freely confess, if I had not seen it with my own 
eyes : then why should I expect it of my reader, who, quite 
possibly, has never seen anything of the sort? 

I was passing a pretty little villa, which stood rather 
back from the road, in its own grounds, with bright flow- 
er-beds in front — creepers wandering over the walls and 
hanging in festoons about the bow-windows — an easy- 
chair forgotten on the lawn, with a newspaper lying near 


it — a small pug-dog "couchant" before it, resolved to 
guard the treasure even at the sacrifice of life — and a front- 
door standing invitingly half-open. "Here is my chance," 
I thought, "for testing the reverse action of the Magic 
Watch!" I pressed the "reversal-peg" and v^alked in. In 
another house, the entrance of a stranger might cause sur- 
prise — perhaps anger, even going so far as to expel the said 
stranger with violence: but here^ I knew, nothing of the 
sort could happen. The ordinary course of events— ^first, to 
think nothing about me; then, hearing my footsteps to 
look up and see me; and then to wonder what business I 
had there — would be reversed by the action of my Watch. 
They would first wonder who I was, then see me, then 
look down, and think no more about me. And as to being 
expelled with violence, that event would necessarily come 
first in this case. "So, if I can once get /V2," I said to myself, 
"all risk of expulsion will be over!" 

The pug-dog sat up, as a precautionary measure, as I 
passed; but, as I took no notice of the treasure he was 
guarding, he let me go by without even one remonstrant 
bark. "He that takes my life," he seemed to be saying, 
wheezily, to himself, "takes trash: But he that takes the 
Daily Telegraph — !" But this awful contingency I did not 

The party in the drawing-room — I had walked straight 
in, you understand, without ringing the bell, or giving 
any notice of my approach — consisted of four laughing 
rosy children, of ages from about fourteen down to ten, 
who were, apparently, all coming towards the door (I 
found they were really walking backwards) ^ while their 
mother, seated by the fire with some needlework on her 
lap, was saying, just as I entered the room, "Now, girls, 
you may get your things on for a walk." 

To my utter astonishment — for I was not yet accustom- 


ed to the action of the Watch — "all smiles ceased" (as 
Browning says) on the four pretty faces, and they all got 
out pieces of needle-work, and sat down. No one noticed 
me in the least, as I quietly took a chair and sat down to 
watch them. 

When the needle-work had been unfolded, and they 
were all ready to begin, their mother said "Come, that's 
done, at last! You may fold up your work, girls." But the 
children took no notice whatever of the remark; on the 
contrary, they set to work at once sewing — if that is the 
proper word to describe an operation such as / had never 
before witnessed. Each of them threaded her needle with 
a short end of thread attached to the work, which was in- 
stantly pulled by an invisible force through the stufJ, drag- 
ging the needle after it: the nimble fingers of the little 
sempstress caught it at the other side, but only to lose it 
again the next moment. And so the work went on, steadi- 
ly undoing itself, and the neatly-stitched little dresses, or 
whatever they were, steadily falling to pieces. Now and 
then one of the children would pause, as the recovered 
thread became inconveniently long, wind it on a bobbin, 
and start again with another short end. 

At last all the work was picked to pieces and put away, 
and the lady led the way into the next room, walking 
backwards, and making the insane remark "Not yet, 
dear: we must get the sewing done first." After which, I 
was not surprised to see the children skipping backwards 
after her, exclaiming "Oh, mother, it is such a lovely day 
for a walk!" 

In the dining-room, the table had only dirty plates and 
empty dishes on it. However the party — with the addition 
of a gentleman, as good-natured, and as rosy, as the chil- 
dren — seated themselves at it very contentedly. 

You have seen people eating cherry-tart, and every now 


and then cautiously conveying a cherry-stone from their 
Ups to their plates ? Well, something like that went on all 
through this ghastly — or shall we say "ghostly"? — ban- 
quet. An empty fork is raised to the lips: there it receives 
a neatly-cut piece of mutton, and swiftly conveys it to the 
plate, where it instantly attaches itself to the mutton al- 
ready there. Soon one of the plates, furnished with a com- 
plete slice of mutton and two potatoes, was handed up to 
the presiding gentleman, who quietly replaced the slice on 
the joint, and the potatoes in the dish. 

Their conversation was, if possible, more bewildering 
than their mode of dining. It began by the youngest girl 
suddenly, and without provocation, addressing her eldest 
sister. "Oh, you wicked story-teller!" she said. 

I expected a sharp reply from the sister; but, instead of 
this, she turned laughingly to her father, and said, in a 
very loud stage-whisper, "To be a bride!" 

The father, in order to do his part in a conversation that 
seemed only fit for lunatics, replied "Whisper it to me, 


But she didnt whisper (these children never did any- 
thing they were told) : she said, quite loud, "Of course 
not! Everybody knows what Dolly wants!" 

And little Dolly shrugged her shoulders, and said, with 
a pretty pettishness, "Now, Father, you're not to tease! 
You know I don't want to be bride's-maid to anybody!'' 

"And Dolly's to be the fourth," was her father's idiotic 

Here Number Three put in her oar. "Oh, it is settled, 
Mother dear, really and truly! Mary told us all about it. 
It's to be next Tuesday four weeks — and three of her cou- 
sins are coming to be bride's-maids — and — " 

''She doesn't forget it Minnie!" the Mother laughingly 


replied. "I do wish they'd get it settled! I don't like long 

And Minnie wound up the conversation — if so chaotic a 
series o£ remarks deserves the name — with "Only think! 
We passed the Cedars this morning, just exactly as Mary 
Davenant was standing at the gate, wishing good-bye to 
Mister — I forget his name. Of course we looked the other 

By this time I was so hopelessly confused that I gave up 
listening, and followed the dinner down into the kitchen. 

But to you, O hypercritical reader, resolute to believe 
no item of this weird adventure, what need to tell how the 
mutton was placed on the spit, and slowly unroasted — 
how the potatoes were wrapped in their skins, and handed 
over to the gardener to be buried — how, when the mutton 
had at length attained to rawness, the fire, which had 
gradually changed from red-heat to a mere blaze, died 
down so suddenly that the cook had only just time to 
catch its last flicker on the end of a match — or how the 
maid, having taken the mutton off the spit, carried it 
(backwards, of course) out of the house, to meet the 
butcher, who was coming (also backwards) down the 
road ? 

The longer I thought over this strange adventure, the 
more hopelessly tangled the mystery became : and it was a 
real relief to meet Arthur in the road, and get him to go 
with me up to the Hall, to learn what news the telegraph 
had brought. I told him, as we went, what had happened 
at the Station, but as to my further adventures I thought 
it best, for the present, to say nothing. 

The Earl was sitting alone when we entered. "I am glad 
you are come in to keep me company," he said. "Muriel is 
gone to bed — the excitement of that terrible scene was too 


much for her — and Eric has gone to the hotel to pack his 
things, to start for London by the early train." 

"Then the telegram has come?" I said. 

"Did you not hear? Oh, I had forgotten: it came in af- 
ter you left the Station. Yes, it's all right: Eric has got his 
commission ; and, now that he has arranged matters with 
Muriel, he has business in town that must be seen to at 


"What arrangement do you mean?" I asked with a 
sinking heart, as the thought of Arthur's crushed hopes 
came to my mind. "Do you mean that they are engaged?'' 

"They have been engaged — in a sense — for two years," 
the old man gently replied: "that is, he has had my pro- 
mise to consent to it, so soon as he could secure a perma- 
nent and settled line in life. I could never be happy with 
my child married to a man without an object to live for 
— without even an object to die for!" 

"I hope they will be happy," a strange voice said. The 
speaker was evidently in the room, but I had not heard 
the door open, and I looked around in some astonishment. 
The Earl seemed to share my surprise. "Who spoke?" he 

"It was I," said Arthur, looking at us with a worn, hag- 
gard face, and eyes from which the light of life seemed 
suddenly to have faded. "And let me wish you joy also, 
dear friend," he added, looking sadly at the Earl, and 
speaking in the same hollow tones that had startled us so 

"Thank you," the old man said, simply and heartily. 

A silence followed: then I rose, feeling sure that Arthur 
would wish to be alone, and bade our gentle host "Good 
night": Arthur took his hand, but said nothing: nor did 
he speak again, as we went home, till we were in the 
house and had lit our bed-room candles. Then he said, 



more to himself than to me, ''The heart \noweth its own 
bitterness, I never understood those words till now." 

The next few days passed wearily enough. I felt no in- 
clination to call again, by myself, at the Hall; still less to 
propose that Arthur should go with me: it seemed better 
to wait till Time — that gentle healer of our bitterest sor- 
rows — should have helped him to recover from the first 
shock of the disappointment that had blighted his life. 

Business, however, soon demanded my presence in 
town; and I had to announce to Arthur that I must leave 
him for a while. "But I hope to run down again in a 
month," I added. "I would stay now, if I could. I don't 
think it's good for you to be alone." 

"No, I ca'n't face solitude, here^ for long," said Arthur. 
"But don't think about me, I have made up my mind to 
accept a post in India, that has been oflfered me. Out there, 
I suppose I shall find something to live for; I ca'n't see 
anything at present. 'This life of mine 1 guard, as God's 
high gift, from scathe and wrong, Not greatly care to 
lose!' " 

"Yes," I said: "your name-sake bore as heavy a blow, 
and lived through it." 

"A far heavier one than mine^'' said Arthur. "The wo- 
man he loved proved false. There is no such cloud as that 
on my memory of — of — " He left the name unuttered, 
and went on hurriedly. "But you will return, will you 

'Yes, I shall come back for a short time." 
'Do," said Arthur: "and you shall write and tell me of 
our friends. I'll send you my address when I'm settled 



Chapter XXIV 

The Frogs' Birthday-Treat 

And so it came to pass that, just a week after the day 
when my Fairy-friends first appeared as Children, I found 
myself taking a farewell-stroll through the wood, in the 
hope of meeting them once more. I had but to stretch my- 
self on the smooth turf, and the "eerie" feeling was on me 
in a moment. 
"Put oor ear welly low down," said Bruno, "and I'll tell 

00 a secret! It's the Frogs' Birthday-Treat — and we've lost 
the Baby!" 

''What Baby?" I said, quite bewildered by this compli- 
cated piece of news. 

"The Queen s Baby, a course!" said Bruno. "Titania's 
Baby. And we's welly sorry. Sylvie, she's — oh so sorry!" 

''How sorry is she?" I asked, mischievously. 

"Three-quarters of a yard," Bruno replied with perfect 
solemnity. "And Fm a little sorry too," he added, shutting 
his eyes so as not to see that he was smiling. 

"And what are you doing about the Baby?" 

"Well, the soldiers are all looking for it — up and down 
• — everywhere." 

"The soldiers?'' I exclaimed. 

"Yes, a course!" said Bruno. "When there's no fighting 
to be done, the soldiers doos any little odd jobs, oo know." 

I was amused at the idea of its being a "little odd job" to 
find the Royal Baby. "But how did you come to lose it?" 

1 asked. 

"We put it in a flower," Sylvie, who had just joined us, 
explained with her eyes full of tears. "Only we ca'n't re- 
member whichr 


THE frogs' birthday-treat 485 

"She says us put it in a flower," Bruno interrupted, 
" 'cause she doesn't want / to get punished. But it were 
really me what put it there. Sylvie were picking Dindle- 

"You shouldn't say 'us put it in a flower'," Sylvie very 
gravely remarked. 

"Well, hus, then," said Bruno. "I never can remember 
those horrid H's!" 

"Let me help you to look for it," I said. So Sylvie and I 
made a "voyage of discovery" among all the flowers; but 
there was no Baby to be seen. 

"What's become of Bruno?" I said, when we had com- 
pleted our tour. 

"He's down in the ditch there," said Sylvie, "amusing a 
young Frog." 

I went down on my hands and knees to look for him, 
for I felt very curious to know how young Frogs ought to 
be amused. After a minute's search, I found him sitting at 
the edge of the ditch, by the side of the little Frog, and 
looking rather disconsolate. 

"How are you getting on, Bruno?" I said, nodding to 
him as he looked up. 

"Ca'n't amuse it no more," Bruno answered, very dole- 
fully, " 'cause it wo'n't say what it would like to do next! 
I've showed it all the duck-weeds — and a live caddis- 
worm — but it wo'n't say nuffin! What — would 00 — like?" 
he shouted into the ear of the Frog: but the little' creature 
sat quite still, and took no notice of him. "It's deaf, I 
think!" Bruno said, turning away with a sigh. "And it's 
time to get the Theatre ready." 

"Who are the audience to be?" 

"Only but Frogs," said Bruno. "But they haven't comed 
yet. They wants to be drove up, like sheep." 


"Would it save time," I suggested, "i£ / were to walk 
round with Sylvie, to drive up the Frogs, while you get 
the Theatre ready?" 

"That are a good plan!" cried Bruno. "But where are 

"Fm here!" said Sylvie, peeping over the edge of the 
bank. "I was just watching two Frogs that were having a 


"Which won it?" Bruno eagerly inquired. 

Sylvie was puzzled. "He does ask such hard questions!'* 
she confided to me. 

"And what's to happen in the Theatre?" I asked. 

"First they have their Birthday-Feast," Sylvie said: 
"then Bruno does some Bits of Shakespeare; then he tells 
them a Story." 

"I should think the Frogs like the Feast best. Don't 

"Well, there's generally very few of them that get any. 
They will keep their mouths shut so tight! And it's just as 
well they <^o," she added, "because Bruno likes to cook it 
himself: and he cooks very queerly. Now they're all in. 
Would you just help me to put them with their heads the 
right way?" 

We soon managed this part of the business, though the 
Frogs kept up a most discontented croaking all the time. 

"What are they saying?" I asked Sylvie. 

"They're saying 'Fork! Fork!' It's very silly of them! 
You're not going to have forks!" she announced with 
some severity. "Those that want any Feast have just got to 
open their mouths, and Bruno'll put some of it in!" 

At this moment Bruno appeared, wearing a little white 
apron to show that he was a Cook, and carrying a tureen 
full of very queer-looking soup. I watched very carefully 
as he moved about among the Frogs; but I could not see 

THE frogs' birthday-treat 487 

that any o£ them opened their mouths to be fed — except 
one very young one, and I'm nearly sure it did it acciden- 
tally, in yawning. However Bruno instantly put a large 
spoonful of soup into its mouth, and the poor little thing 
coughed violently for some time. 

So Sylvie and I had to share the soup between us, and 
to pretend to enjoy it, for it certainly was very queerly 

I only ventured to take one spoonful of it ("Sylvie's 
Summer-Soup," Bruno said it was), and must candidly 
confess that it was not at all nice; and I could not feel sur- 
prised that so many guests had kept their mouths shut up 

"What's the soup made of, Bruno?" said Sylvie, who 
had put a spoonful of it to her lips, and was making a wry 
face over it. 

And Bruno's answer was anything but encouraging. 
"Bits of things!" 

The entertainment was to conclude with "Bits of Shake- 
speare," as Sylvie expressed it, which were all to be done 
by Bruno, Sylvie being fully engaged in making the Frogs 
keep their heads towards the stage: after which Bruno 
was to appear in his real character, and tell them a Story 
of his own invention. 

"Will the Story have a Moral to it?" I asked Sylvie, 
while Bruno was away behind the hedge, dressing for the 
first "Bit." 

"I thin\ so," Sylvie replied doubtfully. "There generally 
is a Moral, only he puts it in too soon." 

"And will he say all the Bits of Shakespeare?" 

"No, he'll only act them," said Sylvie. "He knows hard- 
ly any of the words. When I see what he's dressed like, 
I've to tell the Frogs what character it is. They're always 
in such a hurry to guess! Don't you hear them all saying 


'What? What?'" And so indeed they were: it had only 
sounded Hke croaking, till Sylvie explained it, but I could 
now make out the "Wawt? Wawt?" quite distinctly. 

"But why do they try to guess it before they see it?" 

*'I don't know," Sylvie said: "but they always do. Some- 
times they begin guessing weeks and weeks before the 

(So now, when you hear the Frogs croaking in a par- 
ticularly melancholy way, you may be sure they're trying 
to guess Bruno's next Shakespeare "Bit". Isn't that inter- 
esting ? ) 

However, the chorus of guessing was cut short by 
Bruno, who suddenly rushed on from behind the scenes, 
and took a flying leap down among the Frogs, to re- 
arrange them. 

For the oldest and fattest Frog — who had never been 
properly arranged so that he could see the stage, and so 
had no idea what was going on — was getting restless, and 
had upset several of the Frogs, and turned others round 
with their heads the wrong way. And it was no good at 
all, Bruno said, to do a "Bit" of Shakespeare when there 
was nobody to look at it (you see he didn't count me as 
anybody). So he set to work with a stick, stirring them 
up, very much as you would stir up tea in a cup, till most 
of them had at least one great stupid eye gazing at the 

"Oo must come and sit among them, Sylvie," he said in 
despair, "I've put these two side-by-side, with their noses 
the same way, ever so many times, but they do squarrel 

So Sylvie took her place as "Mistress of the Cere- 
monies," and Bruno vanished again behind the scenes, to 
dress for the first "Bit." 

"Hamlet!" was suddenly proclaimed, in the clear sweet 

THE frogs' birthday-treat 489 

tones I knew so well. The croaking all ceased in a mo- 
ment, and I turned to the stage, in some curiosity to see 
what Bruno's ideas were as to the behaviour of Shake- 
speare's greatest Character. 

According to this eminent interpreter of the Drama, 
Hamlet wore a short black cloak (which he chiefly used 
for muffling up his face, as if he suffered a good deal from 
toothache), and turned out his toes very much as he walk- 
ed. "To be or not to be!" Hamlet remarked in a cheerful 
tone, and then turned head-over-heels several times, his 
cloak dropping oflf in the performance. 

I felt a little disappointed: Bruno's conception of the 
part seemed so wanting in dignity. "Wo'n't he say any 
more of the speech?" I whispered to Sylvie. 

"I thin\ not," Sylvie whispered in reply. "He generally 
turns head-over-heels when he doesn't know any more 

Bruno had meanwhile settled the question by disappear- 
ing from the stage; and the Frogs instantly began inquir- 
ing the name of the next Character. 

"You'll know directly!" cried Sylvie, as she adjusted 
two or three young Frogs that had struggled round with 
their backs to the stage. "Macbeth!" she added, as Bruno 

Macbeth had something twisted round him, that went 
over one shoulder and under the other arm, and was 
meant, I believe, for a Scotch plaid. He had a thorn in his 
hand, which he held out at arm's length, as if he were a 
little afraid of it. "Is this a dagger?'' Macbeth inquired, in 
a puzzled sort of tone: and instantly a chorus of "Thorn! 
Thorn!" arose from the Frogs (I had quite learned to 
understand their croaking by this time). 

"It's a dagger!'' Sylvie proclaimed in a peremptory tone. 
"Hold your tongues!" and the croaking ceased at once. 


Shakespeare has not told us, so far as I know, that Mac- 
beth had any such eccentric habit as turning head-over- 
heels in private life: but Bruno evidently considered it 
quite an essential part of the character, and left the stage 
in a series of somersaults. However, he was back again in 
a few moments, having tucked under his chin the end of 
a tuft of wool (probably left on the thorn by a wandering 
sheep), which made a magnificent beard, that reached 
nearly down to his feet. 

"Shylock!" Sylvie proclaimed. "No, I beg your par- 
don!" she hastily corrected herself, "King Lear! I hadn't 
noticed the crown." (Bruno had very cleverly provided 
one, which fitted him exactly, by cutting out the centre of 
a dandelion to make room for his head.) 

King Lear folded his arms (to the imminent peril of 
his beard) and said, in a mild explanatory tone, ''Ay, every 
inch a king!" and then paused, as if to consider how this 
could best be proved. And here, with all possible defer- 
ence to Bruno as a Shakespearian critic, I must express my 
opinion that the poet did not mean his three great tragic 
heroes to be so strangely alike in their personal habits; nor 
do I believe that he would have accepted the faculty of 
turning head-over-heels as any proof at all of royal des- 
cent. Yet it appeared that King Lear, after deep medita- 
tion, could think of no other argument by which to prove 
his kingship: and, as this was the last of the "Bits" of 
Shakespeare ("We never do more than three^' Sylvie ex- 
plained in a whisper), Bruno gave the audience quite a 
long series of somersaults before he finally retired, leaving 
the enraptured Frogs all crying out "More! More!" which 
I suppose was their way of encoring a performance. But 
Bruno wouldn't appear again, till the proper time came 
for telling the Story. 

When he appeared at last in his real character, I noticed 


a remarkable change in his behaviour. He tried no more 
somersaults. It was clearly his opinion that, however suit- 
able the habit o£ turning head-over-heels might be to such 
petty individuals as Hamlet and King Lear, it would 
never do for Bruno to sacrifice his dignity to such an ex- 
tent. But it was equally clear that he did not feel entirely 
at his ease, standing all alone on the stage, with no cos- 
tume to disguise him : and though he began, several times, 
"There were a Mouse — ," he kept glancing up and down, 
and on all sides, as if in search of more comfortable quar- 
ters from which to tell the Story. Standing on one side of 
the stage, and partly overshadowing it, was a tall fox- 
glove, which seemed, as the evening breeze gently swayed 
it hither and thither, to offer exactly the sort of accommo- 
dation that the orator desired. Having once decided on his 
quarters, it needed only a second or two for him to run up 
the stem like a tiny squirrel, and to seat himself astride on 
the topmost bend, where the fairy-bells clustered most 
closely, and from whence he could look down on his au- 
dience from such a height that all shyness vanished, and 
he began his Story merrily. 

"Once there were a Mouse and a Crocodile and a Man 
and a Goat and a Lion." I had never heard the "dramatis 
persona:" tumbled into a story with such profusion and in 
such reckless haste; and it fairly took my breath away. 
Even Sylvie gave a little gasp, and allowed three of the 
Frogs, who seemed to be getting tired of the entertain- 
ment, to hop away into the ditch, without attempting to 
stop them. 

"And the Mouse found a Shoe, and it thought it were a 
Mouse-trap. So it got right in, and it stayed in ever so 

"Why did it stay in?" said Sylvie. Her function seemed 
to be much the same as that of the Chorus in a Greek 


Play: she had to encourage the orator, and draw him out, 
by a series of inteUigent questions. 

" 'Cause it thought it couldn't get out again," Bruno ex- 
plained. "It were a clever mouse. It knew it couldn't get 
out of traps!" 

"But why did it go in at all?" said Sylvie. 

" — and it jamp, and it jamp," Bruno proceeded, ignor- 
ing this question, "and at last it got right out again. And 
it looked at the mark in the Shoe. And the Man's name 
were in it. So it knew it wasn't its own Shoe." 

"Had it thought it was?'' said Sylvie. 

"Why, didn't I tell oo it thought it were a Mouse-trap?'" 
the indignant orator replied. "Please, Mister Sir, will oo 
make Sylvie attend?" Sylvie was silenced, and was all at- 
tention : in fact, she and I were most of the audience now, 
as the Frogs kept hopping away, and there were very few 
of them left. 

"So the Mouse gave the Man his Shoe. And the Man 
were welly glad, 'cause he hadn't got but one Shoe, and 
he were hopping to get the other." 

Here I ventured on a question. "Do you mean 'hopp- 
ing,' or 'hoping'?" 

"Bofe," said Bruno. "And the Man took the Goat out of 
the Sack." ("We haven't heard of the sacl{ before," I said. 
"Nor you wo'n't hear of it again," said Bruno). "And he 
said to the Goat, *Oo will walk about here till I comes 
back.' And he went and he tumbled into a deep hole. And 
the Goat walked round and round. And it walked under 
the Tree. And it wug its tail. And it looked up in the 
Tree. And it sang a sad little Song. Oo never heard such 
a sad little Song!" 

"Can you sing it, Bruno?" I asked. 

"Iss, I can," Bruno readily replied. "And I sa'n't. It 
would make Sylvie cry — " 

THE frogs' birthday-treat 493 

"It wouldn't!" Sylvie interrupted in great indignation. 
"And I don't believe the Goat sang it at all!" 

"It did, though!" said Bruno. "It singed it right froo. I 
sawed it singing with its long beard — " 

"It couldn't sing with its beard,'' I said, hoping to puz- 
zle the little fellow: "a beard isn't a voiced 

"Well then, 00 couldn't walk with Sylvie!" Bruno cried 
triumphantly. "Sylvie isn't a jootr 

I thought I had better follow Sylvie's example, and be 
silent for a while. Bruno was too sharp for us. 

"And when it had singed all the Song, it ran away— 
for to get along to look for the Man, 00 know. And the 
Crocodile got along after it— for to bite it, 00 know. And 
the Mouse got along after the Crocodile." 

"Wasn't the Crocodile running?'' Sylvie enquired. She 
appealed to me. "Crocodiles do run, don't they?" 
I suggested "crawling" as the proper word. 
"He wasn't running," said Bruno, "and he wasn't 
crawling. He went struggling along like a portmanteau. 
And he held his chin ever so high in the air—" 
"What did he do that for?" said Sylvie. 
" 'cause he hadn't got a toofache!" said Bruno. "Ca'n't 
00 make out nuffin wizout I 'splain it? Why, if he'd had a 
toofache, a course he'd have held his head down— like this 
—and he'd have put a lot of warm blankets round it!" 
"If he'd had any blankets," Sylvie argued. 
"Course he had blankets!" retorted her brother. "Doos 
00 think Crocodiles goes walks wizout blankets ? And he 
frowned with his eyebrows. And the Goat was welly 
flightened at his eyebrows!" 
"I'd never be afraid of eyebrows!" exclaimed Sylvie. 
"I should think 00 would, though, if they'd got a Cro- 
codile fastened to them, like these had! And so the Man 


jamp, and he jamp, and at last he got right out of the 

Sylvie gave another little gasp : this rapid dodging about 
among the characters of the Story had taken away her 

"And he runned away — for to look for the Goat, oo 
know. And he heard the Lion grunting — " 

"Lions don't grunt," said Sylvie. 

"This one did," said Bruno. "And its mouth were like a 
large cupboard. And it had plenty of room in its mouth. 
And the Lion runned after the Man — for to eat him, oo 
know. And the Mouse runned after the Lion." 

"But the Mouse was running after the Crocodile^'' I 
said: "he couldn't run after bothr 

Bruno sighed over the density of his audience, but ex- 
plained very patiently. "He did runned after bofe: 'cause 
they went the same way! And first he caught the Croco- 
dile, and then he didn't catch the Lion. And when he'd 
caught the Crocodile, what doos oo think he did — 'cause 
he'd got pincers in his pocket?" 

"I ca'n't guess," said Sylvie. 

"Nobody couldn't guess it!" Bruno cried in high glee. 
"Why, he wrenched out that Crocodile's toof!" 

''Which tooth?" I ventured to ask. 

But Bruno was not to be puzzled. "The toof he were 
going to bite the Goat with, a course!" 

"He couldn't be sure about that," I argued, "unless he 
wrenched out all its teeth." 

Bruno laughed merrily, and half sang, as he swung 
himself backwards and forwards, "He did — wrenched — 
out — all its teef !" 

"Why did the Crocodile wait to have them wrenched 
out?" said Sylvie. 

"It had to wait," said Bruno. 


I ventured on another question. "But what became of 
the Man who said 'You may wait here till I come back'?" 

"He didn't say 'Oo may^' " Bruno explained. "He said, 
'Oo will' Just like Sylvie says to me 'Oo will do oor les- 
sons till twelve o'clock.' Oh, I wiss'^' he added with a little 
sigh, "I wiss Sylvie would say 'Oo may do oor lessons'!" 

This was a dangerous subject for discussion, Sylvie 
seemed to think. She returned to the Story. "But what be- 
came of the Man?" 

"Well, the Lion springed at him. But it came so slow, it 
were three weeks in the air — " 

"Did the Man wait for it all that time?" I said. 

"Course he didn't!" Bruno replied, gliding head-first 
down the stem of the fox-glove, for the Story was evident- 
ly close to its end. "He sold his house, and he packed up 
his things, while the Lion were coming. And he went and 
he lived in another town. So the Lion ate the wrong man." 

This was evidently the Moral : so Sylvie made her final 
proclamation to the Frogs. "The Story's finished! And 
whatever is to be learned from it," she added, aside to me, 
"I'm sure / don't know!" 

I did not feel quite clear about it myself, so made no 
suggestion : but the Frogs seemed quite content. Moral or 
no Moral, and merely raised a husky chorus of "Off! 
Off!" as they hopped away. 

Chapter XXV 
Looking Eastward 

"It's just a week/' I said, three days later, to Arthur, 
"since we heard of Lady Muriel's engagement. I think / 
ought to call, at any rate, and offer my congratulations. 
Wo'n't you come with me?" 

A pained expression passed over his face. "When must 
you leave us?" he asked. 

"By the first train on Monday." 

"Well — yes, I will come with you. It would seem 
strange and unfriendly if I didn't. But this is only Friday. 
Give me till Sunday afternoon. I shall be stronger then." 

Shading his eyes with one hand, as if half-ashamed of 
the tears that were coursing down his cheeks, he held 
the other out to me. It trembled as I clasped it. 

I tried to frame some words of sympathy; but they 
seemed poor and cold, and I left them unspoken. "Good 
night!" was all I said. 

"Good night, dear friend!" he replied. There was a 
manly vigour in his tone that convinced me he was 
wrestling with, and triumphing over, the great sorrow 
that had so nearly wrecked his life — and that, on the 
stepping-stone of his dead self, he would surely rise to 
higher things! 

There was no chance, I was glad to think, as we set 
out on Sunday afternoon, of meeting Eric at the Hall, 
as he had returned to town the day after his engagement 
was announced. His presence might have disturbed the 
calm — the almost unnatural calm — with which Arthur 
met the woman who had won his heart, and murmured 
the few graceful words of sympathy that the occasion de- 



Lady Muriel was perfectly radiant with happiness: 
sadness could not live in the light of such a smile: and 
even Arthur brightened under it, and, when she remarked 
"You see I'm watering my flowers, though it is the Sab- 
bath-Day," his voice had almost its old ring of cheerful- 
ness as he replied "Even on the Sabbath-Day works of 
mercy are allowed. But this isn't the Sabbath-Day. The 
Sabbath-Day has ceased to exist." 

"I know it's not Saturday^'' Lady Muriel replied: "but 
isn't Sunday often called 'the Christian Sabbath'?" 

"It is so called, I think, in recognition of the spirit of 
the Jewish institution, that one day in seven should be a 
day of rest. But I hold that Christians are freed from the 
literal observance of the Fourth Commandment." 

"Then where is our authority for Sunday observance?" 

"We have, first, the fact that the seventh day was 
'sanctified', when God rested from the work of Creation. 
That is binding on us as T heists. Secondly, we have the 
fact that 'the Lord's Day' is a Christian institution. That 
is binding on us as Christians^ 

"And your practical rules would be — ?" 

"First, as Theists, to keep it holy in some special way,, 
and to make it, so far as is reasonably possible, a day of 
rest. Secondly, as Christians, to attend public worship." 

"And what of amuse7nents?'' 

"I would say of them, as of all kinds of wor\^ what- 
ever is innocent on a week-day, is innocent on Sunday, 
provided it does not interfere with the duties of the day." 

"Then you would allow children to play on Sunday?" 

"Certainly I should. Why make the day irksome to 
their restless natures?" 

"I have a letter somewhere," said Lady Muriel, "from 
an old friend, describing the way in which Sunday was 
kept in her younger days. I will fetch it for you." 


"I had a similar description, viva voce^ years ago," Ar- 
thur said when she had left us, "from a little girl. It was 
really touching to hear the melancholy tone in which she 
said 'On Sunday I mustn't play with my doll! On Sun- 
day I mustn't run on the sands! On Sunday I mustn't dig 
in the garden!' Poor child! She had indeed abundant 
cause for hating Sunday!" 

"Plere is the letter," said Lady Muriel, returning. "Let 
me read you a piece of it." 

*'When, as a child, 1 first opened my eyes on a Sunday- 
morning, a feeling of dismal anticipation, which began at 
least on the Friday, culminated, I l^new tvhat was before 
m.e, and my wish, if not my word, was * Would God it were 
evening!' It was no day of rest, but a day of texts, of cate- 
chisms {Watts'^, of tracts about converted swearers, godly 
char-women, and edifying deaths of sinners saved, 

*'Up with the lar\, hym,ns and portions of Scripture had 
to be learned by heart till 8 ocloc\, when there were family- 
prayers, then breakfast, which I was never able to enjoy, 
partly from the fast already undergone, and partly from the 
outloo\ I dreaded, 

''At 9 came Sunday-School; and it made me indignant 
to be put into the class with the village-children , as well as 
alarmed lest, by some mistake of mine, I should be put be- 
low them. 

''The Church-Service was a veritable Wilderness of Zin. 
I wandered in it, pitching the tabernacle of my thoughts on 
the lining of the square family-pew, the fidgets of my small 
brothers, and the horror of \nowing that, on the Monday, I 
should have to write out, from memory, jottings of the 
rambling disconnected extem,pore sermon, which might have 
have any text but its own, and to stand or fall by the result. 

"This was followed by a cold dinner at i (^servants to 
have no wor\^^ Sunday-School again from 2 to 4, and 
Evening-Service at 6. The intervals were perhaps the greatest 


trial of all, from the efforts I had to ma\e, to be less than 
usually sinful, by reading boo\s and sermons as barren as 
the Dead Sea. There was but one rosy spot, in the distance, 
all that day: and that tvas 'bed-time I which never could 
come too earlyl" 

"Such teaching was well meant, no doubt," said Ar- 
thur; "but it must have driven many of its victims into 
deserting the Church-Services altogether." 

"I'm afraid / was a deserter this morning," she gravely 
said. "I had to write to Eric. Would you — would you 
mind my telling you something he said about prayer? It 
had never struck me in that light before." 

"In what light?" said Arthur. 

"Why, that all Nature goes by fixed, regular laws — 
Science has proved that. So that asking God to do any- 
thing (except of course praying for spiritual blessings) is 
to expect a miracle: and we've no right to do that, I've 
not put it as well as he did : but that was the outcome of 
it, and it has confused me. Please tell me what you can 
say in answer to it." 

"I don't propose to discuss Captain Linden s diffi- 
culties," Arthur gravely replied; "specially as he is not 
present. But, if it is your difficulty," (his voice uncon- 
sciously took a tender tone) "then I will speak." 

"It is my difficulty," she said anxiously. 

"Then I will begin by asking 'Why did you except 
spiritual blessings?' Is not your mind a part of Nature?" 

"Yes, but Free-Will comes in there — I can choose this 
or that; and God can influence my choice." 

"Then you are not a Fatalist?" 

"Oh, no!" she earnestly exclaimed. 

"Thank God!" Arthur said to himself, but in so low 


a whisper that only / heard it. "You grant then that I 
can, by an act of free choice, move this cup," suiting the 
action to the word, ''this way or that way?" 

"Yes, I grant it." 

"Well, let us see how far the result is produced by 
fixed laws. The cup moves because certain mechanical 
forces are impressed on it by my hand. My hand moves 
because certain forces — electric, magnetic, or whatever 
'nerve-force' may prove to be — are impressed on it by 
my brain. This nerve-force, stored in the brain, would 
probably be traceable, if Science were complete, to chem- 
ical forces supplied to the brain by the blood, and ulti- 
mately derived from the food I eat and the air I breathe." 

"But would not that be Fatalism? Where would Free- 
Will come in?" 

"In choice of nerves," replied Arthur. "The nerve-force 
in the brain may flow just as naturally down one nerve 
as down another. We need something more than a fixed 
Law of Nature to settle which nerve shall carry it. That 
'something' is Free- Will." 

Her eyes sparkled. "I see what you mean!" she ex- 
claimed. "Human Free-Will is an exception to the sys- 
tem of fixed Law. Eric said something like that. And then 
I think he pointed out that God can only influence Nature 
by influencing Human Wills. So that we might reason- 
ably pray 'give us this day our daily breads' because many 
of the causes that produce bread are under Man's control. 
But to pray for rain, or fine weather, would be as unrea- 
sonable as — " she checked herself, as if fearful of saying 
something irreverent. 

In a hushed, low tone, that trembled with emotion, 
and with the solemnity of one in the presence of death, 
Arthur slowly replied "Shall he that contendeth with the 
Almighty instruct him ? Shall we, 'the swarm that in the 


noon-tide beam were born,' feeling in ourselves the power 
to direct, this way or that, the forces of Nature — of 
Nature^ of which we form so trivial a part — shall we, in 
our boundless arrogance, in our pitiful conceit, deny that 
power to the Ancient of Days? Saying, to our Creator, 
'Thus far and no further. Thou madest, but thou canst 
not rule!'?" 

Lady Muriel had covered her face in her hands, and 
did not look up. She only murmured "Thanks, thanks!" 
again and again. 

We rose to go. Arthur said, with evident effort, "One 
word more. If you would \now the power of Prayer — 
in anything and everything that Man can need — try it. 
As\, and it shall be given you, I — \have tried it. I hjiow 
that God answers prayer!" 

Our walk home was a silent one, till we had nearly 
reached the lodgings: then Arthur murmured — and it 
was almost an echo of my own thoughts — ''What \nowest 
thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband?'' 

The subject was not touched on again. We sat on, 
talking, while hour after hour, of this our last night to- 
gether, glided away unnoticed. He had much to tell me 
about India, and the new life he was going to, and the 
wor\ he hoped to do. And his great generous soul seemed 
so filled with noble ambition as to have no space left for 
any vain regret or selfish repining. 

"Come, it is nearly morning!" Arthur said at last, ris- 
ing and leading the way upstairs. "The sun will be rising 
in a few minutes: and, though I have basely defrauded 
you of your last chance of a night's rest here, I'm sure 
you'll forgive me: for I really couldn't bring myself to 
say *Good night' sooner. And God knows whether you'll 
ever see me again, or hear of me!" 

''Hear of you I am certain I shall!" I warmly responded,. 


and quoted the concluding lines of that strange poem 
"Waring" : — 

''Oh, never star 
Was lost here, but it rose afar! 
Loo]^ East, where whole new thousands arel 
In VishnU'land what Avatar?" 

"Aye, look Eastward!" Arthur eagerly replied, pausing 
at the stair-case window, which commanded a fine view 
of the sea and the eastward horizon. "The West is the 
fitting tomb for all the sorrow and the sighing, all the 
errors and the follies of the Past: for all its withered 
Hopes and all its buried Loves! From the East comes 
new strength, new ambition, new Hope, new Life, new 
Love! Look Eastward! Aye, look Eastward!" 

His last words were still ringing in my ears as I en- 
tered my room, and undrew the window-curtains, just 
in time to see the sun burst in glory from his ocean- 
prison, and clothe the world in the light of a new day. 

"So may it be for him, and me, and all of us!" I mused. 
"All that is evil, and dead, and hopeless, fading with the 
Night that is past! All that is good, and living, and hope- 
ful, rising with the dawn of Day! 

"Fading, with the Night, the chilly mists, and the 
noxious vapours, and the heavy shadows, and the wailing 
gusts, and the owl's melancholy hootings: rising, with 
the Day, the darting shafts of light, and the wholesome 
morning breeze, and the warmth of a dawning life, and 
the mad music of the lark! Look Eastward! 

"Fading, with the Night, the clouds of ignorance, and 
the deadly blight of sin, and the silent tears of sorrow: 
and ever rising, higher, higher, with the Day, the radiant 
dawn of knowledge, and the sweet breath of purity, and 
the throb of a world's ecstasy! Look Eastward! 


"Fadings with the Night, the memory of a dead love, 
and the withered leaves o£ a blighted hope, and the sickly 
repinings and moody regrets that numb the best energies 
of the soul: and rising, broadening, rolling upward like 
a living flood, the manly resolve, and the dauntless will, 
and the heavenward gaze of faith — the substance of things 
hoped for, the evidence of things not seen! 

"Look Eastward! Aye, look Eastward!" 

A »»»»»»»»»»»»»X««««««««««««« A 



















Sylvie and Bruno 



Concluded I 

Dreams, that elude the Makers frenzied grasp — 

Hands, star\ and still, on a dead Mother s breast. 

Which nevermore shall render clasp for clasp, 

Or deftly soothe a weeping Child to rest — 

In suchli\e forms me listeth to portray 

My Tale, here ended. Thou delicious Fay — 

The guardian of a Sprite that lives to tease thee — 

Loving in earnest, chiding but in play 

The merry moc\ing Bruno! Who, that sees thee. 

Can fail to love thee. Darling, even as I? — 

My sweetest Sylvie, we must say ''Good-bye!" 




Let me here express my sincere gratitude to the many 
Reviewers who have noticed, whether favorably or un- 
favorably, the previous Volume. Their unfavorable re- 
marks were, most probably, well-deserved; the favorable 
ones less probably so. Both kinds have no doubt served 
to make the book known, and have helped the reading 
Public to form their opinions of it. Let me also here assure 
them that it is not from any want of respect for their 
criticisms, that I have carefully forborne from reading 
any of them. I am strongly of opinion that an author had 
far better not read any reviews of his books: the unfavor- 
able ones are almost certain to make him cross, and the 
favorable ones conceited; and neither of these results is 

Criticisms have, however, reached me from private 
sources, to some of which I propose to offer a reply. 

One such critic complains that Arthur's strictures, on 
sermons and on choristers, are too severe. Let me say, in 
reply, that I do not hold myself responsible for any of the 
opinions expressed by the characters in my book. They 
are simply opinions which, it seemed to me, might prob- 
ably be held by the persons into whose mouths I put 
them, and which were worth consideration. 

Other critics have objected to certain innovations in 
spelling, such as "ca n't," "wo'n't," "traveler." In reply, 
I can only plead my firm conviction that the popular 
usage is wrong. As to "ca'n't," it will not be disputed 



that, in all other words ending in "n't," these letters are 
an abbreviation o£ "not"; and it is surely absurd to sup- 
pose that, in this solitary instance, "not" is represented by 
"'t"! In fact "can't" is the proper abbreviation for "can 
It, just as IS t IS tor is it. Again, in wo n t, the first 
apostrophe is needed, because the word "would" is here 
abridged into "wo": but I hold it proper to spell "don't" 
with only one apostrophe, because the word "do" is here 
complete. As to such words as "traveler," I hold the cor- 
rect principle to be, to double the consonant when the 
accent falls on that syllable; otherwise to leave it single. 
This rule is observed in most cases (e.g. we double the 
"r" in "preferred," but leave it single in "offered"), so 
that I am only extending, to other cases, an existing rule. 
I admit, however, that I do not spell "parallel," as the 
rule would have it; but here we are constrained, by the 
etymology, to insert the double "1". 

In the Preface to Vol. I. were two puzzles, on which 
my readers might exercise their ingenuity. One was, to 
detect the 3 lines of "padding," which I had found it 
necessary to supply in the passage extending from the bot- 
tom of p. 304 to the top of p. 307. They are the i8th and 
19th lines of p. 306. The other puzzle was, to determine 
which (if any) of the 8 stanzas of the Gardener's Song 
(see pp. 320, 328, 330, 334, 342, 347, 374, 376) were adapted 
to the context, and which (if any) had the context adapt- 
ed to them. The last of them is the only one that was 
adapted to the context, the "Garden-Door that opened 
with a key" having been substituted for some creature 
(a Cormorant, I think) "that nestled in a tree." At pp. 
328, 343, and 374, the context was adapted to the stanza. 
At p. 334, neither stanza nor context was altered: the con- 
nection between them was simply a piece of good luck. 


In the Preface to Vol. I., at pp. 277, 278, I gave an ac- 
count of the making-up of the story of "Sylvie and 
Bruno." A few more details may perhaps be acceptable 
to my Readers. 

It was in 1873, as I now believe, that the idea first 
occurred to me that a little fairy-tale (written, in 1867, 
for "Aunt Judy's Magazine," under the title "Bruno's 
Revenge") might serve as the nucleus of a longer story. 
This I surmise, from having found the original draft of 
the last paragraph of Vol. II., dated 1873, So that this 
paragraph has been waiting 20 years for its chance of 
emerging into print — more than twice the period so cau- 
tiously recommended by Horace for "repressing" one's 
literary efforts! 

It was in February, 1885, that I entered into negotia- 
tions, with Mr. Harry Furniss, for illustrating the book. 
Most of the substance of both Volumes was then in exis- 
tence in manuscript: and my original intention was to 
publish the whole story at once. In September, 1885, I 
received from Mr. Furniss the first set of drawings — the 
four which illustrate "Peter and Paul": in November, 
1886, I received the second set — the three which illustrate 
the Professor's song about the "little man" who had "a 
little gun": and in January, 1887, I received the third set 
— the four which illustrate the "Pig-Tale." 

So we went on, illustrating first one bit of the story, 
and then another, without any idea of sequence. And it 
was not till March, 1889, that, having calculated the num- 
ber of pages the story would occupy, I decided on divid- 
ing it into two portions, and publishing it half at a time. 
This necessitated the writing of a sort of conclusion for 
the first Volume: and most of my Readers, I fancy, re- 
garded this as the actual conclusion, when that Volume 


appeared in December, 1889. At any rate, among all the 
letters I received about it, there was only one which ex- 
pressed any suspicion that it was not a final conclusion. 
This letter was from a child. She wrote "we were so glad, 
when we came to the end of the book, to find that there 
was no ending-up, for that shows us that you are going 
to write a sequel." 

It may interest some of my Readers to know the theory 
on which this story is constructed. It is an attempt to 
show what might possibly happen, supposing that Fairies 
really existed; and that they were sometimes visible to 
us, and we to them; and that they were sometimes able 
to assume human form : and supposing, also, that human 
beings might sometimes become conscious of what goes 
on in the Fairy-world — by actual transference of their 
immaterial essence, such as we meet with in "Esoteric 

I have supposed a Human being to be capable of vari- 
ous psychical states, with varying degrees of conscious- 
ness, as follows: — 

{a) the ordinary state, with no consciousness of the 
presence of Fairies; 

{b) the "eerie" state, in which, while conscious of ac- 
tual surroundings, he is also conscious of the presence of 

{c) a form of trance, in which, while unconscious of 
actual surroundings, and apparently asleep, he (i.e. his 
immaterial essence) migrates to other scenes, in the actual 
world, or in Fairyland, and is conscious of the presence 
of Fairies. 

I have also supposed a Fairy to be capable of migrating 
from Fairyland into the actual world, and of assuming, 
at pleasure, a Human form; and also to be capable of 
various psychical states, viz. 

PREFACE • 513 

(a) the ordinary state, with no consciousness of the 
presence of Human beings; 

(b) a sort of "eerie" state, in which he is conscious, 
if in the actual world, of the presence of actual Human 
beings ; if in Fairyland, of the presence of the immaterial 
essences of Human beings. 

I will here tabulate the passages, in both Volumes, 
where abnormal states occur. 

Vol. I. 

Historian's Locality and 


Other characters. 

pp. 287-294 






432 . . . 



In train 








Chancellor {b) p. 287. 

S. and B. {b) pp. 370 

Professor {b) p. 376. 

Bruno {b) pp. 392- 

S. and B. {b). 

do. {b). 

S. B. and Professor in 
Human form. 

S. and B. (&). 
S. B. and Professor {b). 
S. and B. in Human 

S. and B. {b). 



At lodgings 

On beach 

At lodgings 

In wood 

do. sleep-walking 
Among ruins 

do. dreaming 
do. sleep- 
In street 

At station, &c 

In garden 

On road, &c 

In street, &c 

In wood 

Vol. II. 






In garden 








S. andB. (6). 
do. {b). 
do. in Human 

do. {b). 
do. in Human 

do. ib). 
do. {b). 
do. (a); Lady- 
Muriel {b). 

On road 



In drawing-room 


In smoking-room 

In wood 

At lodgings 




In the Preface to Vol. I., at p. 278, 1 gave an account of 
the origination of some of the ideas embodied in the 
book. A few more such details may perhaps interest my 
Readers : — 

I. p. 395. The very peculiar use, here made of a dead 
mouse, comes from real life. I once found two very small 
boys, in a garden, playing a microscopic game of "Single- 
Wicket." The bat was, I think, about the size of a table- 
spoon; and the utmost distance attained by the ball, in 
its most daring flights, was some 4 or 5 yards. The exact 
length was of course a matter of supreme importance; 
and it was always carefully measured out (the batsman 
and the bowler amicably sharing the toil) with a dead 

I. p. 425. The two quasi-mathematical Axioms, quoted 
by Arthur at p. 425 of Vol. I., ("Things that are greater 
than the same are greater than one another," and "All 
angles are equal") were actually enunciated, in all seri- 
ousness, by undergraduates at a University situated not 
100 miles from Ely. 

II. p. 528. Bruno's remark ("I can, if I like, &c.") was 
actually made by a little boy. 

II. p. 529. So also was his remark ("I know what it 
doesn't spell.") And his remark ("I just twiddled my 
eyes, &c.") I heard from the lips of a little girl, who had 
just solved a puzzle I had set her. 

II. p. 554. Bruno's soliloquy ("For its father, &c.") was 
actually spoken by a little girl, looking out of the window 
of a railway-carriage. 

II. p. 599. The remark, made by a guest at the dinner- 
party, when asking for a dish of fruit ("I've been wishing 
for them, &c.") I heard made by the great Poet-Laureate, 
whose loss the whole reading-world has so lately had to 


11. p. 613. Bruno's speech, on the subject of the age o£ 
"Mein Herr," embodies the reply of a Uttle girl to the 
question "Is your grandmother an old lady?" "I don't 
know if she's an old lady," said this cautious young per- 
son; "she's eighty 'threeT 

11. p. 635. The speech about "Obstruction" is no mere 
creature of my imagination! It is copied verbatim from 
.the columns of the Standard, and was spoken by Sir 
William Harcourt, who was, at the time, a member of 
the "Opposition," at the "National Liberal Club," on 
July the i6th, 1890. 

II. p. 706. The Professor's remark, about a dog's tail, 
that "it doesn't bite at that end," was actually made by a 
child, when warned of the danger he was incurring by 
pulling the dog's tail. 

II. p. 730. The dialogue between Sylvie and Bruno, 
which occupies lines 4 to 12, is a verbatim report (merely 
substituting "cake" for "penny") of a dialogue overheard 
between two children. 

One story in this Volume — "Bruno's Picnic" — I can 
vouch for as suitable for telling to children, having tested 
it again and again; and, whether my audience has been 
a dozen little girls in a village-school, or some thirty or 
forty in a London drawing-room, or a hundred in a High 
School, I have always found them earnestly attentive, and 
keenly appreciative of such fun as the story supplied. 

May I take this opportunity of calling attention to 
what I flatter myself was a successful piece of name-coin- 
ing, at p. 309 of Vol. I. Does not the name "Sibimet" 
fairly embody the character of the Sub-Warden? The 
gentle Reader has no doubt observed what a singularly 
useless article in a house a brazen trumpet is, if you simply 
leave it lying about, and never blow it! 


Readers of the first Volume, who have amused them- 
selves by trying to solve the two puzzles propounded at 
page 279 of the Preface, may perhaps like to exercise 
their ingenuity in discovering which (if any) of the fol- 
lowing parallelisms were intentional, and which (if any) 

"Little Bird 

s." Events, and Persons. 

Stanza i. 





Knipress and Spinach (II. 705). 


Warden's Return. 


Professor's Lecture (II. 711). 


Other Professor's song (I. 359). 


Petting of Uggug. 


Baron Doppelgeist. 


Jester and Bear (I. 350). Little Foxes. 


Bruno's Dinner-Bell; Little Foxes. 

I will publish the answer to this puzzle in the Preface 
to a little book of "Original Games and Puzzles," now 
in course of preparation. 

I have reserved, for the last, one or two rather more 
serious topics. 

I had intended, in this Preface, to discuss more fully, 
than I had done in the previous Volume, the "Morality 
of Sport," with special reference to letters I have received 
from lovers of Sport, in which they point out the many 
great advantages which men get from it, and try to prove 
that the suffering, which it inflicts on animals, is too 
trivial to be regarded. 

But, when I came to think the subject out, and to ar- 
range the whole of the arguments "pro" and "con", I 


found it much too large for treatment here. Some day, 
I hope to pubUsh an essay on this subject. At present, I 
will content myself with stating the net result I have 
arrived at. 

It is, that God has given to Man an absolute right to 
take the lives of other animals, for any reasonable cause, 
such as the supply of food: but that He has not given to 
Man the right to inflict pain^ unless when necessary: 
that mere pleasure, or advantage, does not constitute 
such a necessity: and, consequently, that pain, inflicted 
for the purposes of Sport, is cruel, and therefore wrong. 
But I find it a far more complex question than I had 
supposed; and that the "case", on the side of the Sports- 
man, is a much stronger one than I had supposed. So, for 
the present, I say no more about it. 

Objections have been raised to the severe language I 
have put into the mouth of "Arthur", at p. 436, on the 
subject of "Sermons," and at pp. 434, 435, on the subjects 
of Choral Services and "Choristers." 

I have already protested against the assumption that I 
am ready to endorse the opinions of characters in my 
story. But, in these two instances, I admit that I am much 
in sympathy with "Arthur." In my opinion, far too many 
sermons are expected from our preachers; and, as a conse- 
quence, a great many are preached, which are not worth 
listening to; and, as a consequence of that, we are very 
apt not to listen. The reader of this paragraph probably 
heard a sermon last Sunday morning? Well, let him, if 
he can, name the text, and state how the preacher 
treated it! 

Then, as to "Choristers," and all the other accessories 
— of music, vestments, processions, &c., — which have 
come, along with them, into fashion — while freely ad- 


mitting that the "Ritual" movement was sorely needed, 
and that it has effected a vast improvement in our Church- 
Services, which had become dead and dry to the last 
degree, I hold that, like many other desirable movements, 
it has gone too far in the opposite direction, and has in- 
troduced many new dangers. 

For the Congregation this new movement involves the 
danger of learning to think that the Services are done for 
them; and that their bodily presence is all they need con- 
tribute. And, for Clergy and Congregation alike, it in- 
volves the danger of regarding these elaborate Services as 
ends in themselves^ and of forgetting that they are simply 
meanSy and the very hollowest of mockeries, unless they 
bear fruit in our lives. 

For the Choristers it seems to involve the danger of self- 
conceit, as described at p. 434 (N.B. "stagy-entrances" is 
a misprint for "stage-entrances"), the danger of regard- 
ing those parts of the Service, where their help is not re- 
quired, as not worth attending to, the danger of coming 
to regard the Service as a mere outward form — a series 
of postures to be assumed, and of words to be said or 
sung, while the thoughts are elsewhere — and the danger 
of "familiarity" breeding "contempt" for sacred things. 

Let me illustrate these last two forms of danger, from 
my own experience. Not long ago, I attended a Cathedral- 
Service, and was placed immediately behind a row of 
men, members of the Choir; and I could not help noticing 
that they treated the Lessons as a part of the Service to 
which they needed not to give any attention, and as af- 
fording them a convenient opportunity for arranging mu- 
sic-books, &c., &c. Also I have frequently seen a row of 
little choristers, after marching in procession to their 
places, kneel down, as if about to pray, and rise from 
their knees after a minute spent in looking about them, 


it being but too evident that the attitude was a mere 
mockery. Surely it is very dangerous, for these children, 
to thus accustom them to pretend to pray? As an in- 
stance of irreverent treatment of holy things, I will men- 
tion a custom, which no doubt many of my readers have 
noticed in Churches where the Clergy and Choir enter in 
procession, viz. that, at the end of the private devotions, 
which are carried on in the vestry, and which are of course 
inaudible to the Congregation, the final "Amen" is 
shouted^ loud enough to be heard all through the Church. 
This serves as a signal, to the Congregation, to prepare to 
rise when the procession appears: and it admits of no 
dispute that it is for this purpose that it is thus shouted. 
When we remember to Whom that "Amen" is really ad- 
dressed, and consider that it is here used for the same 
purpose as one of the Church-bells, we must surely admit 
that it is a piece of gross irreverence? To me it is much 
as if I were to see a Bible used as a footstool; 

As an instance of the dangers, for the Clergy them- 
selves, introduced by this new movement, let me mention 
the fact that, according to my experience, Clergymen of 
this school are specially apt to retail comic anecdotes, in 
which the most sacred names and words — sometimes ac- 
tual texts from the Bible — are used as themes for jesting. 
Many such things are repeated as having been originally 
said by children^ whose utter ignorance of evil must no 
doubt acquit them^ in the sight of God, of all blame; but 
it must be otherwise for those who consciously use such 
innocent utterances as material for their unholy mirth. 

Let me add, however, most earnestly, that I fully be- 
lieve that this profanity is, in many cases, ^^conscious: 
the "environment" (as I have tried to explain at p. 590) 
makes all the difference between man and man; and I 
rejoice to think that many of these profane stories — which 


/ find so painful to listen to, and should feel it a sin to 
repeat — give to their ears no pain, and to their consciences 
no shock; and that they can utter, not less sincerely than 
myself, the two prayers, ''Hallowed be Thy Name^'' and 
"from hardness of heart, and contempt of Thy Word and 
Commandment, Good Lord, deliver usT To which I 
would desire to add, for their sake and for my own, 
Keble's beautiful petition, "help us, this and every day. 
To live more nearly as ti/e prayl" It is, in fact, for its 
consequences — for the grave dangers, both to speaker 
and to hearer, which it involves — rather than for what it 
is in itself^ that I mourn over this clerical habit of pro- 
fanity in social talk. To the believing hearer it brings the 
danger of loss of reverence for holy things, by the mere 
act of listening to, and enjoying, such jests; and also the 
temptation to retail them for the amusement of others. 
To the unbelieving hearer it brings a welcome confirma- 
tion of his theory that religion is a fable, in the spectacle 
of its accredited champions thus betraying their trust. 
And to the speaker himself it must surely bring the 
danger of loss of faith. For surely such jests, if uttered 
with no consciousness of harm, must necessarilv be also 
uttered with no consciousness, at the moment, of the 
reality of God, as a living beings who hears all we say. 
And he, who allows himself the habit of thus uttering 
holy words, with no thought of their meaning, is but too 
likely to find that, for him, God has become a myth, and 
heaven a poetic fancy — that, for him, the light of life is 
gone, and that he is at heart an atheist, lost in "a dark- 
ness tliat may be feltT 

There is, I fear, at the present time, an increasing ten- 
dency to irreverent treatment of the name of God and of 
subjects connected with religion. Some of our theatres are 
helping this downward movement by the gross carica- 


tures of clergymen which they put upon the stage: some 
o£ our clergy are themselves helping it, by showing that 
they can lay aside the spirit o£ reverence, along with their 
surplices, and can treat as jests, when outside their 
churches, names and things to which they pay an almost 
superstitious veneration when inside: the "Salvation 
Army" has, I fear, with the best intentions, done much 
to help it, by the coarse familiarity with which they treat 
holy things: and surely every one, who desires to live in 
the spirit of the prayer ''Hallowed be Thy Name^'' ought 
to do what he can, however little that may be, to check 
it. So I have gladly taken this unique opportunity, how- 
ever unfit the topic may seem for the Preface to a book 
of this kind, to express some thoughts which have weigh- 
ed on my mind for a long time. I did not expect, when 
I wrote the Preface to Vol. I, that it would be read to 
any appreciable extent: but I rejoice to believe, from evi- 
dence that has reached me, that it has been read by many, 
and to hope that this Preface will also be so : and I think 
that, among them, some will be found ready to sym- 
pathise with the views I have put forwards, and ready 
to help, with their prayers and their example, the revival, 
in Society, of the waning spirit of reverence, 
Christmas y 1893. 


Chapter I 
Bruno's Lessons 

During the next month or two my soUtary town-Hfe 
seemed, by contrast, unusually dull and tedious. I missed 
the pleasant friends I had left behind at Elveston — the 
genial interchange of thought — the sympathy which gave 
to one's ideas a new and vivid reality: but, perhaps more 
than all, I missed the companionship of the two Fairies—- 
or Dream-Children, for I had not yet solved the problem 
as to who or what they were — whose sweet playfulness 
had shed a magic radiance over my life. 

In ofBce-hours — which I suppose reduce most men to 
the mental condition of a coflfee-mill or a mangle — time 
sped along much as usual: it was in the pauses of life, 
the desolate hours when books and newspapers palled on 
the sated appetite, and when, thrown back upon one's 
own dreary musings, one strove — all in vain — to people 
the vacant air with the dear faces of absent friends, that 
the real bitterness of solitude made itself felt. 

One evening, feeling my life a little more wearisome 
than usual, I strolled down to my Club, not so much with 
the hope of meeting any friend there, for London was 
now "out of town," as with the feeling that here, at least, 
I should hear "sweet words of human speech," and come 
into contact with human thought. 

However, almost the first face I saw there was that of 
a friend. Eric Lindon was lounging, with rather a "bored" 
expression of face, over a newspaper; and we fell into 


conversation with a mutual satisfaction which neither of 
us tried to conceal. 

After a while I ventured to introduce what was just 
then the main subject of my thoughts. "And so the Doc- 
tor" (a name we had adopted by a tacit agreement, as 
a convenient compromise between the formality of "Doc- 
tor Forester" and the intimacy — to which Eric Lindon 
hardly seemed entitled — of "Arthur") "has gone abroad 
by this time, I suppose? Can you give me his present 

"He is still at Elveston — I believe," was the reply. "But 
I have not been there since I last met you." 

I did not know which part of this intelligence to won- 
der at most. "And might I ask — if it isn't taking too much 
of a liberty — when your wedding-bells are to — or perhaps 
they have rung, already?" 

"No," said Eric, in a steady voice, which betrayed 
scarcely a trace of emotion: ''that engagement is at an 
end. I am still 'Benedick the ^/^married man.' " 

After this, the thick-coming fancies — all radiant with 
new possibilities of happiness for Arthur — were far too 
bewildering to admit of any further conversation, and I 
was only too glad to avail myself of the first decent ex- 
cuse, that offered itself, for retiring into silence. 

The next day I wrote to Arthur, with as much of a 
reprimand for his long silence as I could bring myself 
to put into words, begging him to tell me how the world 
went with him. 

Needs must that three or four days — possibly more — 
should elapse before I could receive his reply; and never 
had I known days drag their slow length along with a 
more tedious indolence. 

To while away the time, I strolled, one afternoon, into 
Kensington Gardens, and, wandering aimlessly along 


any path that presented itself, I soon became aware that 
I had somehow strayed into one that was wholly new to 
me. Still, my elfish experiences seemed to have so com- 
pletely faded out of my life that nothing was further from 
my thoughts than the idea of again meeting my fairy- 
friends, when I chanced to notice a small creature, mov- 
ing among the grass that fringed the path, that did not 
seem to be an insect, or a frog, or any other living thing 
that I could think of. Cautiously kneeling down, and 
making an ex tempore cage of my two hands, I im- 
prisoned the little wanderer, and felt a sudden thrill of 
surprise and delight on discovering that my prisoner was 
no other than Bruno himself! 

Bruno took the matter very coolly, and, when I had 
replaced him on the ground, where he would be within 
easy conversational distance, he began talking, just as if 
it were only a few minutes since last we had met. 

"Doos 00 know what the Rule is," he enquired, "when 
00 catches a Fairy, withouten its having tolded 00 where 
it was?" (Bruno's notions of English Grammar had cer- 
tainly not improved since our last meeting.) 

"No," I said. "I didn't know there was any Rule 
about it." 

"I thin\ 00' ve got a right to eat me," said the little 
fellow, looking up into my face with a winning smile. 
"But I'm not pruffickly sure. Oo'd better not do it wiz- 
out asking." 

It did indeed seem reasonable not to take so irrevocable 
a step as that^ without due enquiry. "I'll certainly as\ 
about it, first," I said. "Besides, I don't know yet whether 
you would be worth eating!" 

"I guess I'm deliciously good to eat," Bruno remarked 
in a satisfied tone, as if it were something to be rather 
proud of. 


"And what are you doing here, Bruno?" 

""That's not my name!" said my cunning Httle friend. 
"Don't 00 know my name's 'Oh Bruno!'? That's what 
Sylvie always calls me, when I says mine lessons." 

"Well then, what are you doing here, oh Bruno?" 

"Doing mine lessons, a-course!" With that roguish 
twinkle in his eye, that always came when he knew he 
was talking nonsense. 

"Oh, that's the way you do your lessons, is it? And do 
you remember them well?" 

"Always can 'member mine lessons," said Bruno. "It's 
Sylvie s lessons that's so dreffully hard to 'member!" He 
frowned, as if in agonies of thought, and tapped his fore- 
head with his knuckles. "I cant think enough to under- 
stand them!" he said despairingly. "It wants double 
thinking, I believe!" 

"But where's Sylvie gone?" 

"That's just what / want to know!" said Bruno dis- 
consolately. "What ever's the good of setting me lessons^ 
when she isn't here to 'splain the hard bits?" 

"77/ find her for you!" I volunteered; and, getting up, 
I wandered round the tree under whose shade I had been 
reclining, looking on all sides for Sylvie. In another min- 
ute I again noticed some strange thing moving among 
the grass, and, kneeling down, was immediately con- 
fronted with Sylvie's innocent face, lighted up with a 
joyful surprise at seeing me, and was accosted, in the 
sweet voice I knew so well, with what seemed to be the 
end of a sentence whose beginning I had failed to catch. 

" — and I think he ought to have finished them by this 
time. So I'm going back to him. Will you come too? 
It's only just round at the other side of this tree." 

It was but a few steps for me; but it was a great many 


for Sylvie; and I had to be very careful to walk slowly, 
in order not to leave the little creature so far behind as 
to lose sight of her. 

To find Bruno's lessons was easy enough: they ap- 
peared to be neatly written out on large smooth ivy- 
leaves, which were scattered in some confusion over a 
little patch of ground where the grass had been worn 
away; but the pale student, who ought by rights to have 
been bending over them, was nowhere to be seen: we 
looked in all directions, for some time, in vain; but at 
last Sylvie's sharp eyes detected him, swinging on a ten- 
dril of ivy, and Sylvie's stern voice commanded his in- 
stant return to terra firma and to the business of Life. 

"Pleasure first and business afterwards" seemed to be 
the motto of these tiny folk, so many hugs and kisses had 
to be interchanged before anything else could be done. 

"Now, Bruno," Sylvie said reproachfully, "didn't I tell 
you you were to go on with your lessons, unless you 
heard to the contrary?" 

"But I did heard to the contrary!" Bruno insisted, with 
a mischievous twinkle in his eye. 

''What did you hear, you wicked boy?" 

"It were a sort of noise in the air," said Bruno : "a sort 
of a scrambling noise. Didn't 00 hear it. Mister Sir?" 

"Well, anyhow, you needn't go to sleep over them, 
you lazy-lazy!" For Bruno had curled himself up, on the 
largest "lesson," and was arranging another as a pillow. 

"I wasn't asleep!" said Bruno, in a deeply-injured tone. 
"When I shuts mine eyes, it's to show that I'm awaf^eT 

"Well, how much have you learned, then?" 

"I've learned a little tiny bit," said Bruno, modestly, 
being evidently afraid of overstating his achievement. 
''Cant learn no more!" 

"Oh Bruno! You know you can^ if you like." 


"Course I can, if I like^'' the pale student replied; "but 
I ca'n't if I dont like!" 

Sylvie had a way — which I could not too highly admire 
— of evading Bruno's logical perplexities by suddenly 
striking into a new line of thought; and this masterly 
stratagem she now adopted. 

"Well, I must say one thing — " 

"Did 00 know, Mister Sir," Bruno thoughtfully re- 
marked, "that Sylvie ca'n't count? Whenever she says *I 
must say one thing,' I kjiow quite well she'll say two 
things! And she always doos." 

"Two heads are better than one, Bruno," I said, but 
with no very distinct idea as to what I meant by it. 

"I shouldn't mind having two heads^' Bruno said soft- 
ly to himself: "one head to eat mine dinner, and one head 
to argue wiz Sylvie — doos 00 think oo'd look prettier if 
oo'd got two heads. Mister Sir?" 

The case did not, I assured him, admit of a doubt. 

"The reason why Sylvie's so cross — " Bruno went on 
very seriously, almost sadly. 

Sylvie's eyes grew large and round with surprise at 
this new line of enquiry — her rosy face being perfectly 
radiant with good humour. But she said nothing. 

"Wouldn't it be better to tell me after the lessons are 
over?" I suggested. 

"Very well," Bruno said with a resigned air: "only she 
wo'n't be cross then." 

"There's only three lessons to do," said Sylvie. "Spell- 
ing, and Geography, and Singing." 

"Not Arithmetic?'' I said. 

"No, he hasn't a head for Arithmetic — " 

"Course I haven't!" said Bruno. "Mine head's for hair. 
\ haven't got a lot of heads!" 

" — and he ca'n't learn his Multiplication-table — " 


"I like History ever so much better," Bruno remarked. 
"Oo has to repeat that Muddlecome table — " 

"Well, and you have to repeat — " 

"No, 00 hasn't!" Bruno interrupted. "History repeats 
itself. The Professor said so!" 

Sylvie was arranging some letters on a board — 
E — V — I — L. "Now, Bruno," she said, "what does that 

Bruno looked at it, in solemn silence, for a minute. 
"I knows what it doesn't spell!" he said at last. 

"That's no good," said Sylvie. "What does it spell?" 

Bruno took another look at the mysterious letters. 
"Why, it's 'LIVE,' backwards!" he exclaimed. (I thought 
it was, indeed.) 

"How did you manage to see that?" said Sylvie. 

"I just twiddled my eyes," said Bruno, "and then I 
saw it directly. Now may I sing the King-fisher Song?" 

"Geography next," said Sylvie. "Don't you know the 

"I thinks there oughtn't to be such a lot of Rules, 
Sylvie! I thinks — " 

"Yes, there ought to be such a lot of Rules, you wicked, 
wicked boy! And how dare you thin\ at all about it? 
And shut up that mouth directly!" 

So, as "that mouth" didn't seem inclined to shut up of 
itself, Sylvie shut it for him — with both hands — and 
sealed it with a kiss, just as you would fasten up a letter. 

"Now that Bruno is fastened up from talking," she 
went on, turning to me, "I'll show you the Map he does 
his lessons on." 

And there it was, a large Map of the World, spread out 
on the ground. It was so large that Bruno had to crawl 
about on it, to point out the places named in the "King- 
fisher Lesson." 


"When a King-fisher sees a Lady-bird flying away, he 
says 'Ceylon^ i£ you CandiaP And when he catches it, 
he says *Come to Media! And if you're Hungary or 
thirsty, I'll give you some Nubia!' When he takes it in 
his claws, he says 'Europe!' When he puts it into his 
beak, he says 'India!' When he's swallowed it, he says 
^Eton!' That's all." 

"That's quite perfect," said Sylvie. "Now, you may sing 
the King-fisher Song." 

"Will 00 sing the chorus?" Bruno said to me. 

I was just beginning to say "I'm afraid I don't know 
the wordsj" when Sylvie silently turned the map over, 
and I found the words were all written on the back. In 
one respect it was a very peculiar song: the chorus to 
each verse came in the middle^ instead of at the end of it. 
However, the tune was so easy that I soon picked it up, 
and managed the chorus as well, perhaps, as it is pos- 
sible for one person to manage such a thing. It was in 
vain that I signed to Sylvie to help me: she only smiled 
sweetly and sl;iook her head. 

'King Fisher courted Lady Bird — 
Sing Beans, sing Bones, sing Butterflies ! 

'Find me my match,' he said, 
'With such a noble head — 
With such a beard, as white as curd — 
With such expressive eyes!' 

it ( 

Yet pins have heads' said Lady Bird — 
Sing Prunes, sing Prawns, sing Primrose-Hill ! 

'And, where you stic\ thein in. 
They stay, and thus a pin 
Is very much to be preferred 
To one that's never still!' 

t< < 

Bruno's lessons 531 

Oysters have beards' said Lady Bird — 
Sing Flies, sing Frogs, sing Fiddle-strings ! 

7 love them, for I \now 
They never chatter so: 
They would not say one single word — 
Not if you crowned them Kings!' 

ti t 

Needles have eyes,' said Lady Bird — 
Sing Cats, sing Corks, sing Cowslip-tea! 

*And they are sharp — just what 
Your Majesty is not: 
So get you gone — 'tis too absurd 
To come a-courting me!' " 

"So he went away," Bruno added as a kind of post- 
script, when the last note o£ the song had died away 
"Just like he always did." 

"Oh, my dear Bruno!" Sylvie exclaimed, with her 
hands over her ears. "You shouldn't say 'like': you should 
say 'what' " 

To which Bruno replied, doggedly, "I only says 'what!' 
when 00 doosn't speak loud, so as I can hear 00." 

"Where did he go to?" I asked, hoping to prevent 

an argument. 

"He went more far than he'd never been before," said 

"You should never say 'more far,' " Sylvie corrected 
him: "you should say 'farther' " 

"Then 00 shouldn't say 'more broth,' when we're at 
dinner," Bruno retorted: "00 should say 'brother V 

This time Sylvie evaded an argument by turning away, 
and beginning to roll up the Map. "Lessons are over!" 
she proclaimed in her sweetest tones. 

"And has there been no crying over them?" I en- 


quired. "Little boys always cry over their lessons, don't 

"I never cries after twelve o'clock," said Bruno: " 'cause 
then it's getting so near to dinner-time." 

"Sometimes, in the morning," Sylvie said in a low 
voice; "when it's Geography-day, and when he's been 
disobe — " 

"What a fellow you are to talk, Sylvie!" Bruno hastily 
interposed. "Doos oo think the world was made for oo to 
talk in?" 

"Why, where would you have me talk, then?" Sylvie 
said, evidently quite ready for an argument. 

But Bruno answered resolutely. "I'm not going to 
argue about it, 'cause it's getting late, and there wo'n't 
be time — but oo's as 'ong as ever oo can be!" And he 
rubbed the back of his hand across his eyes, in which 
tears were beginning to glitter. 

Sylvie's eyes filled with tears in a moment. "I didn't 
mean it, Bruno, darling!'' she whispered; and the rest of 
the argument was lost "amid the tangles of Nesera's hair," 
while the two disputants hugged and kissed each other. 

But this new form of argument was brought to a sud- 
den end by a flash of lightning, which was closely fol- 
lowed by a peal of thunder, and by a torrent of rain- 
drops, which came hissing and spitting, almost like live 
creatures, through the leaves of the tree that sheltered us. 

"Why, it's raining cats and dogs!" I said. 

"And all the dogs has come down first,'' said Bruno: 
"there's nothing but cats coming down now!" 

In another minute the pattering ceased, as suddenly as 
it had begun. I stepped out from under the tree, and 
found that the storm was over; but I looked in vain, on 
my return, for my tiny companions. They had vanished 


with the storm, and there was nothing for it but to make 
the best of my way home. 

On the table lay, awaiting my return, an envelope of 
that peculiar yellow tint which always announces a tele- 
gram, and which must be, in the memories of so many 
of us, inseparably linked with some great and sudden 
sorrow — something that has cast a shadow, never in this 
world to be wholly lifted off, on the brightness of Life. 
No doubt it has also heralded — for many of us — some 
sudden news of joy; but this, I think, is less common: 
human life seems, on the whole, to contain more of sor- 
row than of joy. And yet the world goes on. Who knows 
why ? 

This time, however, there was no shock of sorrow to be 
faced: in fact, the few words it contained ("Could not 
bring myself to write. Come soon. Always welcome. A 
letter follows this. Arthur.") seemed so like Arthur him- 
self speaking, that it gave me quite a thrill of pleasure, 
and I at once began the preparations needed for the 

Chapter II 
Love's Curfew 

"Fayfield Junction! Change for Elveston!" 

What subtle memory could there be, linked to these 
commonplace words, that caused such a flood of happy 
thoughts to fill my brain? I dismounted from the car- 
riage in a state of joyful excitement for which I could not 
at first account. True, I had taken this very journey, and 


at the same hour of the day, six months ago; but many 
things had happened since then, and an old man's mem- 
ory has but a slender hold on recent events: I sought "the 
missing link" in vain. Suddenly I caught sight of a bench 
— the only one provided on the cheerless platform — with 
a lady seated on it, and the whole forgotten scene flashed 
upon me as vividly as if it were happening over again. 

"Yes," I thought. "This bare platform is, for me, rich 
with the memory of a dear friend! She was sitting on 
that very bench, and invited me to share it, with some 
quotation from Shakespeare — I forget what. I'll try the 
Earl's plan for the Dramatisation of Life, and fancy that 
figure to be Lady Muriel; and I won't undeceive myself 
too soon!" 

So I strolled along the platform, resolutely "making- 
beheve" (as children say) that the casual passenger, seated 
on that bench, was the Lady Muriel I remembered so 
well. She was facing away from me, which aided the 
elaborate cheatery I was practising on myself: but, though 
I was careful, in passing the spot, to look the other way, 
in order to prolong the pleasant illusion, it was inevitable 
that, when I turned to walk back again, I should see who 
it was. It was Lady Muriel herself! 

The whole scene now returned vividly to my memory; 
and, to make this repetition of it stranger still, there was 
the same old man, whom I remembered seeing so rough- 
ly ordered oflf, by the Station-Master, to make room for 
his titled passenger. The same, but "with a difference": 
no longer tottering feebly along the platform, but ac- 
tually seated at Lady Muriel's side, and in conversation 
with her! "Yes, put it in your purse," she was saying, 
"and remember you're to spend it all for Minnie, And 
mind you bring her something nice, that'll do her real 
good! And give her my love!" So intent was she on say- 

love's curfew 535 

ing these words, that, although the sound of my foot- 
step had made her hft her head and look at me, she did 
not at first recognise me. 

I raised my hat as I approached, and then there flashed 
across her face a genuine look of joy, which so exactly 
recalled the sweet face of Sylvie, when last we met in 
Kensington Gardens, that I felt quite bewildered. 

Rather than disturb the poor old man at her side, she 
rose from her seat, and joined me in my walk up and 
down the platform, and for a minute or two our con- 
versation was as utterly trivial and commonplace as if 
we were merely two casual guests in a London drawing- 
room. Each of us seemed to shrink, just at first, from 
touching on the deeper interests which linked our lives 

The Elveston train had drawn up at the platform, 
while we talked; and, in obedience to the Station-Mas- 
ter's obsequious hint of "This way, my Lady! Time's 
up!", we were making the best of our way towards the 
end which contained the sole first-class carriage, and were 
just passing the now-empty bench, when Lady Muriel 
noticed, lying on it, the purse in which her gift had just 
been so carefully bestowed, the owner of which, all un- 
conscious of his loss, was being helped into a carriage at 
the other end of the train. She pounced on it instantly. 
"Poor old man!" she cried. "He mustn't go off, and think 
he's lost it!" 

"Let me run with it! I can go quicker than you!" I 
said. But she was already half-way down the platform, 
flying ("running" is much too mundane a word for such 
fairy-like motion) at a pace that left all possible efforts 
of mine hopelessly in the rear. 

She was back again before I had well completed my 
audacious boast of speed in running, and was saying, 


quite demurely, as we entered our carriage, "and you 
really think you could have done it quicker?" 

"No indeed!" I replied. "I plead ^Guilty' of gross exag- 
geration, and throw myself on the mercy of the Court!" 

"The Court will overlook it — for this once!" Then her 
manner suddenly changed from playfulness to an anxious 

"You are not looking your best!" she said with an 
anxious glance. "In fact, I think you look more of an 
invalid than when you left us. I very much doubt if 
London agrees with you?" 

"It may be the London air," I said, "01 it may be the 
hard work — or my rather lonely life : anyhow, I've not been 
feeling very well, lately. But Elveston will soon set me up 
again. Arthur's prescription — he's my doctor, you know, 
and I heard from him this morning — is 'plenty of ozone, 
and new milk, and pleasant society T 

"Pleasant society?" said Lady Muriel, with a pretty 
make-believe of considering the question. "Well, really I 
don't know where we can find that for you! We have so 
few neighbours. But new milk we can manage. Do get it 
of my old friend Mrs. Hunter, up there, on the hill-side. 
You may rely upon the quality. And her little Bessie 
comes to school every day, and passes your lodgings. So it 
would be very easy to send it." 

"I'll follow your advice, with pleasure," I said; "and 
I'll go and arrange about it to-morrow. I know Arthur 
will want a walk." 

"You'll find it quite an easy walk — under three miles, I 

"Well, now that we've settled that point, let me retort 
your own remark upon yourself. I don't think you re look- 
ing quite your best!" 

"I daresay not," she replied in a low voice; and a sud- 


den shadow seemed to overspread her face. "I've had some 
troubles lately. It's a matter about which I've been long 
wishing to consult you, but I couldn't easily write about 
it. I'm so glad to have this opportunity!" 

"Do you think/' she began again, after a minute's 
silence, and with a visible embarrassment of manner most 
unusual in her, "that a promise, deliberately and solemnly 
given, is always binding — except, of course, where its ful- 
filment would involve some actual sin?'' 

"I ca'n't think of any other exception at this moment," I 
said. "That branch of casuistry is usually, I believe, treated 
as a question of truth and untruth — " 

"Surely that is the principle?" she eagerly interrupted. 
"I always thought the Bible-teaching about it consisted of 
such texts as 'lie not one to another?'' 

"I have thought about that point," I replied; "and it 
seems to me that the essence of lying is the intention of 
deceiving. If you give a promise, fully intending to fulfill 
it, you are certainly acting truthfully then; and, if you af- 
terwards break it, that does not involve any deception. I 
cannot call it untruthful." 

Another pause of silence ensued. Lady Muriel's face 
was hard to read : she looked pleased, I thought, but also 
puzzled; and I felt curious to knov/ whether her question 
had, as I began to suspect, some bearing on the breaking 
off of her engagement with Captain (now Major) 

"You have relieved me from a great fear," she said; "but 
the thing is of course wrongs somehow. What texts would 
you quote, to prove it wrong?" 

"Any that enforce the payment of debts. If A promises 
something to 5, B has a claim upon A. And A's sin, if he 
breaks his promise, seems to me more analogous to steal- 
ing than to lying." 


"It's a new way of looking at it — to me," she said; "but 
it seems a true way^ also. However, I won't deal in gener- 
alities, with an old friend like you! For we are old friends, 
somehow. Do you know, I think we began as old 
friends?" she said with a playfulness of tone that ill ac- 
corded with the tears that glistened in her eyes. 

"Thank you very much for saying so," I replied. "I 
like to think of you as an old friend," (" — though you 
don't look it!" would have been the almost necessary se- 
quence, with any other lady; but she and I seemed to have 
long passed out of the time when compliments, or any 
such trivialities, were possible.) 

Here the train paused at a station, where two or three 
passengers entered the carriage; so no more was said till 
we had reached our journey's end. 

On our arrival at Elveston, she readily adopted my sug- 
gestion that we should walk up together; so, as soon as 
our luggage had been duly taken charge of — hers by the 
servant who met her at the station, and mine by one of 
the porters — we set out together along the familiar lanes, 
now linked in my memory with so many delightful asso- 
ciations. Lady Muriel at once recommenced the conversa- 
tion at the point where it had been interrupted. 

"You knew of my engagement to my cousin Eric. Did 
you also hear — " 

"Yes," I interrupted, anxious to spare her the pain of 
giving any details. "I heard it had all come to an end." 

"I would like to tell you how it happened," she said; "as 
that is the very point I want your advice about. I had long 
realised that we were not in sympathy in religious belief. 
His ideas of Christianity are very shadowy; and even as 
to the existence of a God he lives in a sort of dreamland. 
But it has not affected his life! I feel sure, now, that the 
most absolute Atheist may be leading, though walking 


blindfold, a pure and noble life. And if you knew half the 
good deeds — " she broke off suddenly, and turned away 
her head. 

'1 entirely agree with you," I said. "And have we not 
our Saviour's own promise that such a life shall surely 
lead to the light?" 

"Yes, I know it," she said in a broken voice, still keep- 
ing her head turned away. "And so I told him. He said he 
would believe, for my sake, if he could. And he wished, 
for my sake, he could see things as I did. But that is all 
wrong!" she went on passionately. "God cannot approve 
such low motives as that! Still it was not / that broke it 
off. I knew he loved me; and I had promised; and — " 

"Then it was he that broke it off?" 

"He released me unconditionally." She faced me again 
now, having quite recovered her usual calmness of man- 

"Then what difficulty remains?" 

"It is this, that I don't believe he did it of his own free 
will. Now, supposing he did it against his will, merely to 
satisfy my scruples, would not his claim on me remain 
just as strong as ever? And would not my promise be as 
binding as ever? My father says 'no'; but I ca'n't help 
fearing he is biased by his love for me. And I've asked no 
one else. I have many friends — friends for the bright sun- 
ny weather; not friends for the clouds and storms of life; 
not old friends like you!" 

"Let me think a little," I said : and for some minutes we 
walked on in silence, while, pained to the heart at seeing 
the bitter trial that had come upon this pure and gentle 
soul, I strove in vain to see my way through the tangled 
skein of conflicting motives. 

"If she loves him truly," (I seemed at last to grasp the 
clue to the problem) "is not that^ for her the voice of God ? 


May she not hope that she is sent to him, even as Ananias 
was sent to Saul in his bHndness, that he may receive his 
sight?" Once more I seemed to hear Arthur whispering 
''What \nowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy 
husband?'' and I broke the silence with the words "If you 
still love him truly — " 

"I do notr she hastily interrupted. "At least — not in 
that way. I believe I loved him when I promised; but I 
was very young: it is hard to know. But, whatever the 
feeling was, it is dead now. The motive on his side is 
Love: on mine it is — Duty!" 

Again there was a long silence. The whole skein of 
thought was tangled worse than ever. This time she broke 
the silence. "Don't misunderstand me!" she said. "When I 
said my heart was not A/V, I did not mean it was any one 
else's! At present I feel bound to him; and, till I know I 
am absolutely free, in the sight of God, to love any other 
than him, I'll never even thin\ of any one else — in that 
way, I mean. I would die sooner!" I had never imagined 
my gentle friend capable of such passionate utterances. 

I ventured on no further remark until we had nearly 
arrived at the Hall-gate; but, the longer I reflected, the 
clearer it became to me that no call of Duty demanded the 
sacrifice — possibly of the happiness of a life — which she 
seemed ready to make. I tried to make this clear to her 
also, adding some warnings on the dangers that surely 
awaited a union in which mutual love was wanting. "The 
only argument for it, worth considering," I said in con- 
clusion, "seems to be his supposed reluctance in releasing 
you from your promise. I have tried to give to that argu- 
ment its full weight, and my conclusion is that it does not 
affect the rights of the case, or invalidate the release he 
has given you. My belief is that you are entirely free to act 
ijs now seems right." 

love's curfew 541 

"I am very grateful to you," she said earnestly. "Believe 
it, please! I can't put it into proper words!" and the sub- 
ject was dropped by mutual consent: and I only learned, 
long afterwards, that our discussion had really served to 
dispel the doubts that had harassed her so long. 

We parted at the Hall-gate, and I found Arthur eagerly 
awaiting my arrival; and, before we parted for the night, I 
had heard the whole story — how he had put off his jour- 
ney from day to day, feeling that he could not go away 
from the place till his fate had been irrevocably settled by 
the wedding taking place: how the preparations for the 
wedding, and the excitement in the neighbourhood, had 
suddenly come to an end, and he had learned (from Ma- 
jor Lindon, who called to wish him good-bye) that the 
engagement had been broken off by mutual consent : how 
he had instantly abandoned all his plans for going abroad, 
and had decided to stay on at Elveston, for a year or two 
at any rate, till his newly-awakened hopes should prove 
true or false; and how, since that memorable day, he had 
avoided all meetings with Lady Muriel, fearing to betray 
his feelings before he had had any sufficient evidence as to 
how she regarded him. "But it is nearly six weeks since 
all that happened," he said in conclusion, "and we can 
meet in the ordinary way, now, with no need for any 
painful allusions. I would have written to tell you all this: 
only I kept hoping from day to day that — that there 
would be more to tell!" 

"And how should there be more^ you foolish fellow," I 
fondly urged, "if you never even go near her? Do you ex- 
pect the offer to come from \her?'' 

Arthur was betrayed into a smile. "No," he said, "I 
hardly expect that. But I'm a desperate coward. There's 
no doubt about it!" 


"And what reasons have you heard o£ for breaking oflF 
the engagement?" 

"A good many," Arthur rephed, and proceeded to 
count them on his fingers. "First, it was found that she 
was dying of — something; so he broke it off. Then it was 
found that he was dying of — some other thing; so she 
broke it off. Then the Major turned out to be a confirmed 
gamester ; so the Earl broke it off. Then the Earl insulted 
him; so the Major broke it off. It got a good deal broken 
off, all things considered!" 

"You have all this on the very best authority, of 

"Oh, certainly! And communicated in the strictest con- 
fidence! Whatever defects Elveston society suffers from, 
want of information isn't one of them!" 

"Nor reticence^ either, it seems. But, seriously, do you 
know the real reason?" 

"No, I'm quite in the dark." 

I did not feel that I had any right to enlighten him; so I 
changed the subject, to the less engrossing one of "new 
milk," and we agreed that I should walk over, next day, 
to Hunter's farm, Arthur undertaking to set me part of 
the way, after which he had to return to keep a business- 

Chapter III 

Streaks of Dawn 

Next day proved warm and sunny, and we started early, 
to enjoy the luxury of a good long chat before he would 

be obliged to leave me. 


"This neighbourhood has more than its due propor- 
tion of the very poor/' I remarked, as we passed a group 
of hovels, too dilapidated to deserve the name of "cot- 

"But the few rich," Arthur replied, "give more than 
their due proportion of help in charity. So the balance is 

"I suppose the Earl does a good deal?" 

"He gives liberally; but he has not the health or strength 
to do more. Lady Muriel does more in the way of school- 
teaching and cottage-visiting than she would like me to 

"Then she^ at least, is not one of the 'idle mouths' one 
so often meets with among the upper classes. I have some- 
times thought they would have a hard time of it, if sud- 
denly called on to give their raison d'etre^ and to show 
cause why they should be allowed to live any longer!" 

"The whole subject," said Arthur, "of what we may 
call 'idle mouths' (I mean persons who absorb some of 
the material wealth of a community — in the form of food, 
clothes, and so on — without contributing its equivalent in 
the form of productive labour) is a complicated one, no 
doubt. I've tried to think it out. And it seemed to me that 
the simplest form of the problem, to start with, is a com- 
munity without money ^ who buy and sell by barter only; 
and it makes it yet simpler to suppose the food and other 
things to be capable of \eeping for many years without 

"Yours is an excellent plan," I said. "What is your solu- 
tion of the problem .f^" 

"The commonest type of 'idle mouths,' " said Arthur, 
"is no doubt due to money being left by parents to their 
own children. So I imagined a man — either exceptionally 
clever, or exceptionally strong and industrious — who had 


contributed so much valuable labour to the needs of the 
community that its equivalent, in clothes, &c., was (say) 
five times as much as he needed for himself. We cannot 
deny his absolute right to give the superfluous wealth as 
he chooses. So, if he leaves four children behind him (say 
two sons and two daughters), with enough of all the 
necessaries of life to last them a life-time, I cannot see that 
the community is in any way wronged if they choose to 
do nothing in life but to 'eat, drink, and be merry.' Most 
certainly, the community could not fairly say, in refer- 
ence to them, 'if a man will not wor\, neither let him eat! 
Their reply would be crushing. *The labour has already 
been done^ which is a fair equivalent for the food we are 
eating; and you have had the benefit of it. On what prin- 
ciple of justice can you demand two quotas of work for 
one quota of food?' " 

"Yet surely," I said, "there is something wrong some- 
where^ if these four people are well able to do useful work, 
and if that work is actually needed by the community, 
and they elect to sit idle?" 

"I think there /V," said Arthur: "but it seems to me to 
arise from a Law of God — that every one shall do as 
much as he can to help others — and not from any rights^ 
on the part of the community, to exact labour as an equiv- 
alent for food that has already been fairly earned." 

"I suppose the second form of the problem is where the 
*idle mouths' possess money instead of material wealth?" 

"Yes," replied Arthur: "and I think the simplest case is 
that of paper-monty. Gold is itself a form of material 
wealth; but a bank-note is merely a promise to hand over 
so much material wealth when called upon to do so. The 
father of these four 'idle mouths,' had done (let us say) 
five thousand pounds' worth of useful work for the com- 
munity. In return for this, the community had given him 


what amounted to a written promise to hand over, when- 
ever called upon to do so, five thousand pounds' worth 
of food, &c. Then, if he only uses one thousand pounds' 
worth himself, and leaves the rest of the notes to his chil- 
dren, surely they have a full right to present these written 
promises, and to say 'hand over the food, for which the 
equivalent labour has been already done.' Now I think 
this case well worth stating, publicly and clearly. I should 
like to drive it into the heads of those Socialists who are 
priming our ignorant paupers with such sentiments as 
'Look at them bloated haristocrats! Doing not a stroke o' 
work for theirselves, and living on the sweat of our 
brows!' I should like to jorce them to see that the money ^ 
which those 'haristocrats' are spending, represents so 
much labour already done for the community, and whose 
equivalent, in material wealth, is due from the com- 

"Might not the Socialists reply 'Much of this money 
does not represent honest labour at all. If you could trace 
it back, from owner to owner, though you might begin 
with several legitimate steps, such as gift, or bequeathing 
by will, or 'value received,' you would soon reach an own- 
er who had no moral right to it, but had got it by fraud or 
other crimes; and of course his successors in the line 
would have no better right to it than he had." 

"No doubt, no doubt," Arthur replied. "But surely that 
involves the logical fallacy of proving too much? It is 
quite as applicable to material wealth, as it is to money. 
If we once begin to go back beyond the fact that the 
present owner of certain property came by it honestly, 
and to ask whether any previous owner, in past ages, got 
it by fraud, would any property be secure?" 

After a minute's thought, I felt obliged to admit the 
truth of this. 


''My general conclusion," Arthur continued, "from the 
mere standpoint of human rights, man against man, was 
this — that if some wealthy 'idle mouth,' who has come by 
his money in a lawful way, even though not one atom of 
the labour it represents has been his own doing, chooses 
to spend it on his own needs, without contributing any 
labour to the community from whom he buys his food 
and clothes, that community has no right to interfere 
with him. But it's quite another thing, when we come to 
consider the divine law. Measured by that standard, such 
a man is undoubtedly doing wrong, if he fails to use, for 
the good of those in need, the strength or the skill, that 
God has given him. That strength and skill do not belong 
to the community, to be paid to them as a debt: they do 
not belong to the man himself, to be used for his own en- 
joyment: they do belong to God, to be used according to 
His will; and we are not left in doubt as to what this will 
is. 'Do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again' " 

"Anyhow," I said, "an 'idle mouth' very often gives 
away a great deal in charity." 

"In so-called 'charity,' " he corrected me. "Excuse me if 
I seem to speak ^/2charitably. I would not dream of ap- 
plying the term to any individual. But I would say, gen- 
erally, that a man who gratifies every fancy that occurs to 
him — denying himself in nothing — and merely gives to 
the poor some part, or even all, of his super flous wealth, is 
only deceiving himself if he calls it charity,'' 

"But, even in giving away superfluous wealth, he may 
be denying himself the miser's pleasure in hoarding?" 

"I grant you that, gladly," said Arthur. "Given that he 
has that morbid craving, he is doing a good deed in re- 
straining it." 

"But, even in spending on himself^" I persisted, "our 


typical rich man often does good, by employing people 
who would otherwise be out of work: and that is often 
better than pauperising them by giving the money." 

'Tm glad you've said that!" said Arthur. "I would not 
like to quit the subject without exposing the two fallacies 
of that statement — which have gone so long uncontra- 
dicted that Society now accepts it as an axiom!" 

"What are they?" I said. "I don't even see one^ myself." 

"One is merely the fallacy of ambiguity — the assump- 
tion that 'doing good' (that is, benefiting somebody) is 
necessarily a good thing to do (that is, a right thing). The 
other is the assumption that, if one of two specified acts 
is better than another, it is necessarily a good act in itself. 
I should like to call this the fallacy of comparison — mean- 
ing that it assumes that what is comparatively good is 
therefore positively good." 

"Then what is your test of a good act?" 

"That it shall be our best^' Arthur confidently replied. 
"And even then 'we are unprofitable servants! But let me 
illustrate the two fallacies. Nothing illustrates a fallacy so 
well as an extreme case, which fairly comes under it. 
Suppose I find two children drowning in a pond. I rush 
in, and save one of the children, and then walk away, 
leaving the other to drown. Clearly I have 'done good^ in 
saving a child's life? But — . Again, supposing I meet an 
inoffensive stranger, and knock him down, and walk on. 
Clearly that is 'better than if I had proceeded to jump 
upon him and break his ribs? But — " 

"Those 'buts' are quite unanswerable," I said. "But I 
should like an instance from real life." 

"Well, let us take one of those abominations of modern 
Society, a Charity-Bazaar. It's an interesting question to 
think out — how much of the money, that reaches the ob- 


ject in view, is genuine charity; and whether even that is 
spent in the best way. But the subject needs regular classi- 
fication, and analysis, to understand it properly." 

"I should be glad to have it analysed," I said: "it has 
often puzzled me." 

"Well, if I am really not boring you. Let us suppose our 
Charity-Bazaar to have been organised to aid the funds 
of some Hospital : and that A, B, C give their services in 
making articles to sell, and in acting as salesmen, while 
X, Y, Z buy the articles, and the money so paid goes to 
the Hospital. 

"There are two distinct species of such Bazaars: one, 
where the payment exacted is merely the mar\et-value of 
the goods supplied, that is, exactly what you would have 
to pay at a shop : the other, where fancy-prices are asked. 
We must take these separately. 

"First, the 'market-value' case. Here A, B, C are exactly 
in the same position as ordinary shopkeepers; the only 
difference being that they give the proceeds to the Hospi- 
tal. Practically, they are giving their skilled labour for the 
benefit of the Hospital. This seems to me to be genuine 
charity. And I don't see how they could use it better. But 
X, Y, Z, are exactly in the same position as any ordinary 
purchasers of goods. To talk of 'charity' in connection 
with their share of the business, is sheer nonsense. Yet 
they are very likely to do so. 

"Secondly, the case of 'fancy-prices.' Here I think the 
simplest plan is to divide the payment into two parts, the 
'market-value' and the excess over that. The 'market- 
value' part is on the same footing as in the first case: the 
excess is all we have to consider. Well, A, B, C do not 
earn it; so we may put them out of the question: it is a 
gijt^ from X, Y, Z, to the Hospital. And my opinion is that 


it is not given in the best way: far better buy what they 
choose to buy, and give what they choose to give^ as two 
separate transactions: then there is some chance that their 
motive in giving may be real charity, instead of a mixed 
motive — half charity, half self-pleasing. 'The trail of the 
serpent is over it all.' And therefore it is that I hold all 
such spurious 'Charities' in utter abomination!" He end- 
ed with unusual energy, and savagely beheaded, with his 
stick, a tall thistle at the road-side, behind which I was 
startled to see Sylvie and Bruno standing. I caught at his 
arm, but too late to stop him. Whether the stick reached 
them, or not, I could not feel sure: at any rate they took 
not the smallest notice of it, but smiled gaily, and nodded 
to me; and I saw at once that they were only visible to me: 
the "eerie" influence had not reached to Arthur, 

"Why did you try to save it?" he said. ''That's not the 
wheedling Secretary of a Charity-Bazaar! I only wish it 
were!" he added grimly. 

"Does oo know, that stick went right froo my head!" 
said Bruno. (They had run round to me by this time, and 
each had secured a hand.) "Just under my chin! I are glad 
I aren't a thistle!" 

"Well, we've threshed that subject out, anyhow!" Ar- 
thur resumed. "I'm afraid I've been talking too much, for 
your patience and for my strength. I must be turning 
soon. This is about the end of my tether." 

*'TaJ{e, O boatman, thrice thy fee; 
Ta\e, I give it willingly; 
For, invisible to thee. 
Spirits twain have crossed with meV* 

I quoted, involuntarily. 


"For utterly inappropriate and irrelevant quotations," 
laughed Arthur, "you are *ekalled by few, and excelled by 
none'!" And we strolled on. 

As we passed the head of the lane that led down to the 
beach, I noticed a single figure, moving slowly along it, 
seawards. She was a good way off, and had her back to 
us: but it was Lady Muriel, unmistakably. Knowing that 
Arthur had not seen her, as he had been looking, in the 
other direction, at a gathering rain-cloud, I made no re- 
mark, but tried to think of some plausible pretext for 
sending him back by the sea. 

The opportunity instantly presented itself. "I'm getting 
tired," he said. "I don't think it would be prudent to go 
further. I had better turn here." 

I turned with him, for a few steps, and as we again ap- 
proached the head of the lane, I said, as carelessly as I 
could, "Don't go back by the road. It's too hot and dusty. 
Down this lane, and along the beach, is nearly as short; and 
you'll get a breeze off the sea." 

"Yes, I think I will," Arthur began; but at that moment 
we came into sight of Lady Muriel, and he checked him- 
self. "No, it's too far round. Yet it certainly would be 
cooler — " He stood, hesitating, looking first one way and 
then the other — a melancholy picture of utter infirmity of 

How long this humiliating scene would have contin- 
ued, if / had been the only external influence, it is impos- 
sible to say; for at this moment Sylvie, with a swift deci- 
sion worthy of Napoleon himself, took the matter into 
her own hands. "You go and drive her^ up this way," she 
said to Bruno. "I'll get him along!" And she took hold of 
the stick that Arthur was carrying, and gently pulled him 
down the lane. 

He was totally unconscious that any will but his own 


was acting on the stick, and appeared to think it had 
taken a horizontal position simply because he was point- 
ing with it. "Are not those orchises under the hedge 
there?" he said. "I think that decides me. I'll gather some 
as I go along." 

Meanwhile Bruno had run on behind Lady Muriel, 
and, with much jumping about and shouting (shouts 
audible to no one but Sylvie and myself), much as if he 
were driving sheep, he managed to turn her round and 
make her walk, with eyes demurely cast upon the 
ground, in our direction. 

The victory was ours! And, since it was evident that the 
lovers, thus urged together, must meet in another minute, 
I turned and walked on, hoping that Sylvie and Bruno 
would follow my example, as I felt sure that the fewer 
the spectators the better it would be for Arthur and his 
good angel. 

"And what sort of meeting was it.^" I wondered, as I 
p-^ced dreamily on. 

Chapter IV 
The Dog-King 

"They shooked hands," said Bruno, who was trotting 
at my side, in answer to the unspoken question. 

"And they looked ever so pleased!" Sylvie added from 
the other side. 

"Well, we must get on, now, as quick as we can," I 
said. "If only I knew the best way to Hunter's farm!" 

"They'll be sure to know in this cottage," said Sylvie. 

"Yes, I suppose they will. Bruno, would you run in 
and ask?" 


Sylvie stopped him, laughingly, as he ran off. "Wait a 
minute," she said. "I must make you visible first, you 

"And audible too, I suppose?" I said, as she took the 
jewel, that hung round her neck, and waved it over his 
head, and touched his eyes and lips with it. 

"Yes," said Sylvie: "and once^ do you know, I made 
him audible, and forgot to make him visible! And he 
went to buy some sweeties in a shop. And the man was so 
frightened! A voice seemed to come out of the air, Tlease, 
I want two ounces of barley-sugar drops!' And a shilling 
came bang down upon the counter! And the man said 'I 
ca'n't see you!' And Bruno said 'It doosn't sinnify seeing 
me, so long as oo can see the shilling^ But the man said 
he never sold barley-sugar drops to people he couldn't 
see. So we had to — Now, Bruno, you're ready!" And away 
he trotted. 

Sylvie spent the time, while we were waiting for him, 
in making herself visible also. "It's rather awkward, you 
know," she explained to me, "when we meet people, and 
they can see one of us, and ca'n't see the otherT 

In a minute or two Bruno returned, looking rather dis- 
consolate. "He'd got friends with him, and he were 
cross!'' he said. "He asked me who I were. And I said 
I'm Bruno: who is these peoples?' And he said 'One's my 
half-brother, and t'other's my half-sister: and I don't 
want no more company! Go along with yer!' And I said 
'I ca'n't go along wizout mine self!' And I said *Oo 
shouldn't have bits of peoples lying about like that! It's 
welly untidy!' And he said 'Oh, don't talk to me!' And he 
pushted me outside! And he shutted the door!" 

"And you never asked where Hunter's farm was?" 
queried Sylvie. 


"Hadn't room for any questions," said Bruno. "The 
room were so crowded." 

"Three people couldn't crowd a room," said Sylvie. 

"They did, though," Bruno persisted. ''He crowded it 
most. He's such a welly thicl{^ man — so as oo couldn't 
knock him down." 

I failed to see the drift of Bruno's argument. "Surely 
anybody could be knocked down," I said: "thick or thin 
Vouldn't matter." 

"Oo couldn't knock him down," said Bruno. "He's 
more wide than he's high : so, when he's lying down, he's 
more higher than when he's standing: so a-course oo 
couldn't knock him down!'' 

"Here's another cottage," I said: "77/ ask the way, this 

There was no need to go in, this time, as the woman 
was standing in the doorway, with a baby in her arms, 
talking to a respectably dressed man — a farmer, as I 
guessed — who seemed to be on his way to the town. 

" — and when there's drinf{ to be had," he was saying, 
"he's just the worst o' the lot, is your Willie. So they tell 
me. He gets fairly mad wi' it!" 

"I'd have given 'em the lie to their faces, a twelvemonth 
back!" the woman said in a broken voice. "But a' canna 
noo! A' canna noo!" She checked herself on catching 
sight of us, and hastily retreated into the house, shutting 
the door after her. 

"Perhaps you can tell me where Hunter's farm is?" I 
said to the man, as he turned away from the house. 

"I can that, Sir!" he replied with a smile. "I'm John 
Hunter hissel, at your sarvice. It's nobbut half a mile fur- 
ther — the only house in sight, when you get round bend 
o' the road yonder. You'll find my good woman within, if 


SO be you've business wi' her. Or mebbe I'll do as well?" 

"Thanks," I said. "I want to order some milk. Perhaps 
I had better arrange it with your wife?" 

"Aye," said the man. ''She minds all that. Good day 
t'ye. Master — and to your bonnie childer, as well!" And 
he trudged on. 

"He should have said 'child^ not 'childer ^' said Bruno. 
"Sylvie's not a childerV 

"He meant both of us," said Sylvie. 

"No, he didn't!" Bruno persisted. " 'cause he said 'bon- 
nie', oo know!" 

"Well, at any rate he loo\ed at us both," Sylvie main- 

"Well, then he must have seen we're not both bonnie!" 
Bruno retorted. "K-course I'm much uglier than oo! 
Didn't he mean Sylvie^ Mister Sir?" he shouted over his 
shoulder, as he ran of?. 

But there was no use in replying, as he had already 
vanished round the bend of the road. When we overtook 
him he was climbing a gate, and was gazing earnestly 
into the field, where a horse, a cow, and a kid were brows- 
ing amicably together. "For its father, a Horse^'' he mur- 
mured to himself. "For its mother, a Cow, For their dear 
little child, a little Goat, is the most curiousest thing I ever 
seen in my world!" 

"Bruno's World!" I pondered. "Yes, I suppose every 
child has a world of his own — and every man, too, for the 
matter of that. I wonder if that's the cause for all the mis- 
understanding there is in Life?" 

"That must be Hunter's farm!" said Sylvie, pointing to 
a house on the brow of the hill, led up to by a cart-road. 
"There's no other farm in sight, this way; and you said we 
must be nearly there by this time." 


I had thought it, while Bruno was cUmbing the gate, 
but I couldn't remember having said it. However, Sylvie 
was evidently in the right. "Get down, Bruno," I said, 
"and open the gate for us." 

"It's a good thing we's with oo, isn't it. Mister Sir?" 
said Bruno, as we entered the field. "That big dog might 
have bited oo, if oo'd been alone! Oo needn't be flight' 
ened of it!" he whispered, clinging tight to my hand to 
encourage me. "It aren't fierce!" 

"Fierce!" Sylvie scornfully echoed, as the dog — a mag- 
nificent Newfoundland — that had come galloping down 
the field to meet us, began curveting round us, in gam- 
bols full of graceful beauty, and welcoming us with short 
joyful barks. "Fierce! Why, it's as gentle as a lamb! It's — 
why, Bruno, don't you know it? It's — " 

"So it areT cried Bruno, rushing forwards and throw- 
ing his arms round its neck. "Oh, you dear dog!" And it 
seemed as if the two children would never have done 
hugging and stroking it. 

"And how ever did he get here?'' said Bruno. "Ask 
him, Sylvie. I doosn't know how." 

And then began an eager talk in Doggee, which of 
course was lost upon me; and I could only guess, when 
the beautiful creature, with a sly glance at me, whispered 
something in Sylvie's ear, that / was now the subject of 
conversation. Sylvie looked round laughingly. 

"He asked me who you are," she explained. "And I 
said 'He's our friend J And he said 'What's his name?' 
And I said 'It's Mister Sir.' And he said 'BoshI' " 

"What is 'Bosh!' in Doggee?" I enquired. 

"It's the same as in English," said Sylvie. "Only, when a 
dog says it, it's a sort of a whisper, that's half a cough and 
half a barf^, Nero, say 'Bosh!' " 


And Nero, who had now begun gambohng round us 
again, said ''BoshT several times; and I found that Syl- 
vie's description of the sound was perfectly accurate. 

"I wonder what's behind this long wall?" I said, as 
we walked on. 

"It's the Orchard,'' Sylvie replied, after a consultation 
with Nero. "See, there's a boy getting down off the wall, 
at that far corner. And now he's running away across the 
field. I do believe he's been stealing the apples!" 

Bruno set off after him, but returned to us in a few 
moments, as he had evidently no chance of overtaking the 
young rascal. 

"I couldn't catch him!" he said. "I wiss I'd started a 
little sooner. His pockets was full of apples!" 

The Dog-King looked up at Sylvie, and said something 
in Doggee. 

"Why, of course you can!" Sylvie exclaimed. "How 
stupid not to think of it! Nero'W hold him for us, Bruno! 
But I'd better make him invisible, first." And she hastily 
got out the Magic Jewel, and began waving it over Nero's 
head, and down along his back. 

"That'll do!" cried Bruno, impatiently. "After him, 
good Doggie!" 

"Oh, Bruno!" Sylvie exclaimed reproachfully. "You 
shouldn't have sent him off so quick! I hadn't done the 

Meanwhile Nero was coursing like a grey-hound down 
the field: so at least I concluded from all / could see of 
him — the long feathery tail, which floated like a meteor 
through the air — and in a very few seconds he had come 
up with the little thief. 

"He's got him safe, by one foot!" cried Sylvie, who was 
eagerly watching the chase. "Now there's no hurry, 


So we walked, quite leisurely, down the field, to where 
the frightened lad stood. A more curious sight I had sel- 
dom seen, in all my "eerie" experiences. Every bit of him 
was in violent action, except the left foot, which was ap- 
parently glued to the ground — there being nothing visibly 
holding it: while, at some little distance, the long feathery 
tail was waving gracefully from side to side, showing that 
Nero, at least, regarded the whole affair as nothing but a 
magnificent game of play. 

"What's the matter with you?" I said, as gravely as I 

"Got the crahmp in me ahnkle!" the thief groaned in 
reply. "An' me fut's gone to sleep!" And he began to 
blubber aloud. 

"Now, look here!" Bruno said in a commanding tone, 
getting in front of him. "Oo've got to give up those ap- 

The lad glanced at me, but didn't seem to reckon my 
interference as worth anything. Then he glanced at Syl- 
vie: she clearly didn't count for very much, either. Then 
he took courage. "It'll take a better man than any of yer 
to get 'em!" he retorted defiantly. 

Sylvie stooped and patted the invisible Nero. "A little 
tighter!" she whispered. And a sharp yell from the ragged 
boy showed how promptly the Dog-King had taken the 

"What's the matter now?'' I said. "Is your ankle 

"And it'll get worse, and worse, and worse," Bruno 
solemnly assured him, "till oo gives up those apples!" 

Apparently the thief was convinced of this at last, and 
he sulkily began emptying his pockets of the apples. The 
children watched from a little distance, Bruno dancing 


with delight at every fresh yell extracted from Nero's ter- 
rified prisoner. 

"That's all," the boy said at last. 

"It isn't all!" cried Bruno. "There's three more in that 

Another hint from Sylvie to the Dog-King — another 
sharp yell from the thief, now convicted of lying also — 
and the remaining three apples were surrendered. 

"Let him go, please," Sylvie said in Doggee, and the 
lad limped away at a great pace, stooping now and then 
to rub the ailing ankle, in fear, seemingly, that the 
"crahmp" might attack it again. 

Bruno ran back, with his booty, to the orchard wall, and 
pitched the apples over it one by one. "I's welly afraid 
some of them's gone under the wrong trees!" he panted, 
on overtaking us again. 

"The wrong trees!" laughed Sylvie. "Trees cant do 
wrong! There's no such things as wrong trees!" 

"Then there's no such things as right trees, neither!" 
cried Bruno. And Sylvie gave up the point. 

"Wait a minute, please!" she said to me. "I must make 
Nero visible^ you know!" 

"No, please don't!" cried Bruno, who had by this time 
mounted on the Royal back, and was twisting the Royal 
hair into a bridle. "It'll be such fun to have him like this!" 

"Well, it does look funny," Sylvie admitted, and led the 
way to the farm-house, where the farmer's wife stood, 
evidently much perplexed at the weird procession now 
approaching her. "It's summat gone wrong wi' my spec- 
tacles, I doubt!" she murmured, as she took them off, and 
began diligently rubbing them with a corner of her apron. 

Meanwhile Sylvie had hastily pulled Bruno down from 
his steed, and had just time to make His Majesty wholly 
visible before the spectacles were resumed. 


All was natural, now; but the good woman still looked 
a little uneasy about it. "My eyesight's getting bad," she 
said, "but I see you now^ my darlings! You'll give me a 
kiss, wo'n't you?" 

Bruno got behind me, in a moment: however Sylvie 
put up her face, to be kissed, as representative of both^ 
and we all went in together. 

Chapter V 
Matilda Jane 

"Come to me, my little gentleman," said our hostess, lift- 
ing Bruno into her lap, "and tell me everything." 

"I ca'n't," said Bruno. "There wouldn't be time. Besides, 
I don't \now everything." 

The good woman looked a little puzzled, and turned to 
Sylvie for help. "Does he like riding?'' she asked. 

"Yes, I thin\ so," Sylvie gently replied. "He's just had 
a ride on NeroT 

"Ah, Nero's a grand dog, isn't he ? Were you ever out- 
side a horse ^ my little man?" 

''Always!'' Bruno said with great decision. "Never was 
inside one. Was oo?" 

Here I thought it well to interpose, and to mention the 
business on which we had come, and so relieved her, for a 
few minutes, from Bruno's perplexing questions. 

"And those dear children will like a bit of cake, I'll war- 
rant!" said the farmer's hospitable wife, when the busi- 
ness was concluded, as she opened her cupboard, and 
brought out a cake. "And don't you waste the crust, little 
gentleman!" she added, as she handed a good slice of it to 


Bruno. "You know what the poetry-book says about wil- 
ful waste?" 

"No, I don't," said Bruno. "What doos he say about it.?" 

"Tell him, Bessie!" And the mother looked down, 
proudly and lovingly, on a rosy little maiden, who had 
just crept shyly into the room, and was leaning against 
her knee. "What's that your poetry-book says about wil- 
ful waste?" 

"For wilful waste ma\es woeful want^' Bessie recited, 
in an almost inaudible whisper: ''and you may live to say 
'How much I wish I had the crust that then I threw 
aw ay I 

"Now try if you can say it, my dear! For wilful — " 

"For wifful — sumfinoruvver — " Bruno began, readily 
enough; and then there came a dead pause. "Ca'n't re- 
member no more!" 

"Well, what do you learn from it, then? You can tell 
us that^ at any rate?" 

Bruno ate a little more cake, and considered: but the 
moral did not seem to him to be a very obvious one. 

"Always to — " Sylvie prompted him in a whisper. 

"Always to — " Bruno softly repeated: and then, with 
sudden inspiration, "always to look where it goes to!" 

"Where what goes to, darling?" 

"Why the crusty a course!" said Bruno. "Then, if I lived 
to say 'How much I wiss I had the crust — ' (and all that), 
I'd know where I frew it to!" 

This new interpretation quite puzzled the good woman. 
She returned to the subject of "Bessie." "Wouldn't you 
like to see Bessie's doll, my dears! Bessie, take the little 
lady and gentleman to see Matilda Jane!" 

Bessie's shyness thawed away in a moment. "Matilda 
Jane has just woke up," she stated, confidentially, to Syl- 


vie. "Wo'n't you help me on with her frock? Them 
strings is such a bother to tie!" 

"I can tie strings^'' we heard, in Sylvie's gentle voice, as 
the two little girls left the room together*. Bruno ignored 
the whole proceeding, and strolled to the window, quite 
with the air of a fashionable gentleman. Little girls, and 
dolls, were not at all in his line. 

And forthwith the fond mother proceeded to tell me (as 
what mother is not ready to do?) of all Bessie's virtues 
(and vices too, for the matter of that) and of the many 
fearful maladies which, notwithstanding those ruddy 
cheeks and that plump little figure, had nearly, time and 
again, swept her from the face of the earth. 

When the full stream of loving memories had nearly 
run itself out, I began to question her about the working 
men of that neighbourhood, and specially the "Willie," 
whom we had heard of at his cottage. "He was a good 
fellow once," said my kind hostess : "but it's the drink has 
ruined him! Not that I'd rob them of the drink — it's good 
for the most of them — but there's some as is too weak to 
stand agin' temptations: it's a thousand pities, for them^ as 
they ever built the Golden Lion at the corner there!" 

"The Golden Lion?" I repeated. 

"It's the new Public," my hostess explained. "And it 
stands right in the way, and handy for the workmen, as 
they come back from the brickfields, as it might be to-day, 
with their week's wages. A deal of money gets wasted 
that way. And some of 'em gets drunk." 

"If only they could have it in their own houses — " I 
mused, hardly knowing I had said the words out loud. 

"That's it!" she eagerly exclaimed. It was evidently a 
solution, of the problem, that she had already thought out. 
"If only you could manage, so's each man to have his own 


little barrel in his own house — there'd hardly be a drunk- 
en man in the length and breadth of the land!" 

And then I told her the old story — about a certain cot- 
tager who bought himself a little barrel of beer, and in- 
stalled his wife as bar-keeper: and how, every time he 
wanted his mug of beer, he regularly paid her over the 
counter for it: and how she never would let him go on 
"tick," and was a perfectly inflexible bar-keeper in never 
letting him have more than his proper allowance: and 
how, every time the barrel needed refilling, she had 
plenty to do it with, and something over for her money- 
box: and how, at the end of the year, he not only found 
himself in first-rate health and spirits, with that unde- 
finable but quite unmistakeable air which always distin- 
guishes the sober man from the one who takes "a drop 
too much," but had quite a box full of money, all saved 
out of his own pence! 

"If only they'd all do like that!" said the good woman, 
wiping her eyes, which were overflowing with kindly 
sympathy. "Drink hadn't need to be the curse it is to 

some — " 

"Only a curse^' I said, "when it is used wrongly. Any 
of God's gifts may be turned into a curse, unless we use it 
wisely. But we must be getting home. Would you call the 
little girls? Matilda Jane has seen enough of company, 
for one day, I'm sure!" 

"I'll find 'em in a minute," said my hostess, as she rose 
to leave the room. "Maybe that young gentleman saw 
which way they went?" 

"Where are they, Bruno?" I said. 

"They ain't in the field," was Bruno's rather evasive re- 
ply, " 'cause there's nothing but pigi there, and Sylvie isn't 
a pig. Now don't imperrupt me any more, 'cause I'm tell- 
ing a story to this fly; and it won't attend!" 


"They're among the apples, I'll warrant 'em!" said the 
Farmer's wife. So we left Bruno to finish his story, and 
went out into the orchard, where we soon came upon the 
children, walking sedately side by side, Sylvie carrying 
the doll, while little Bess carefully shaded its face, with a 
large cabbage-leaf for a parasol. 

As soon as they caught sight of us, little Bess dropped 
her cabbage-leaf and came running to meet us, Sylvie fol- 
lowing more slowly, as her precious charge evidently 
needed great care and attention. 

"I'm its Mamma, and Sylvie's the Head-Nurse," Bessie 
explained: "and Sylvie's taught me ever such a pretty 
song, for me to sing to Matilda Jane!" 

"Let's hear it once more, Sylvie," I said, delighted at 
getting the chance I had long wished for, of hearing her 
sing. But Sylvie turned shy and frightened in a moment. 
"No, please notV she said, in an earnest "aside" to me. 
"Bessie knows it quite perfect now. Bessie can sing it!" 

"Aye, aye! Let Bessie sing it!" said the proud mother. 
"Bessie has a bonny voice of her own," (this again was an 
"aside" to me) "though I say it as shouldn't!" 

Bessie was only too happy to accept the "encore." So 
the plump little Mamma sat down at our feet, with her 
hideous daughter reclining stiffly across her lap (it was 
one of a kind that wo'n't sit down, under any amount of 
persuasion), and, with a face simply beaming with de- 
light, began the lullaby, in a shout that ought to have 
frightened the poor baby into fits. The Head-Nurse 
crouched down behind her, keeping herself respectfully 
in the back-ground, with her hands on the shoulders of 
her little mistress, so as to be ready to act as Prompter, if 
required, and to supply ^'^^c^ gap in faithless memory 
^ The shout, with which she began, proved to be only a 


momentary eflfort. After a very few notes, Bessie toned 
down, and sang on in a small but very sweet voice. At 
first her great black eyes were fixed on her mother, but 
soon her gaze wandered upwards, among the apples, and 
she seemed to have quite forgotten that she had any other 
audience than her Baby, and her Head-Nurse, who once 
or twice supplied, almost inaudibly, the right note, when 
the singer was getting a little "flat." 

"Matilda Jane, you never loo\ 
At any toy or picture-boo^: 
I show you pretty things in vain — 
You must be blind, Matilda Jane! 

"I as\ you riddles, tell you tales. 
But all our conversation jails: 
You never anstver me again — 
/ ]ear you re dumb, Matilda Jane! 

''Matilda, darling, tvhen 1 call. 
You never seem to hear at all: 
I shout with all my might and main — 
But you re so deaj, Matilda Jane! 

"Matilda Jane, you needn't mind: 
For, though you're deaj, and dumb, and blind. 
There's some one loves you, it is plain — 
And that is me, Matilda Jane!" 

She sang three of the verses in a rather perfunctory 
style, but the last stanza evidently excited the little maid- 
en. Her voice rose, ever clearer and louder: she had a rapt 
look on her face, as if suddenly inspired, and, as she sang 
the last few words, she clasped to her heart the inatten- 
tive Matilda Jane. 

"Kiss it now!" prompted the Head-Nurse. And in a 


moment the simpering meaningless face of the Baby was 
covered with a shower of passionate kisses. 

"What a bonny song!" cried the Farmer's wife. "Who 
made the words, dearie?" 

"I — I think I'll look for Bruno," Sylvie said demurely, 
and left us hastily. The curious child seemed always afraid 
of being praised, or even noticed. 

"Sylvie planned the words," Bessie informed us, proud 
of her superior information: "and Bruno planned the 
music — and / sang it!" (this last circumstance, by the way, 
we did not need to be told). 

So we followed Sylvie, and all entered the parlour to- 
gether. Bruno was still standing at the window, with his 
elbows on the sill. He had, apparently, finished the story 
that he was telling to the fly, and had found a new occu- 
pation. "Don't imperrupt!" he said as we came in. "I'm 
counting the Pigs in the field!" 

"How many are there?" I enquired. 

"About a thousand and four," said Bruno. 

"You mean *about a thousand,' " Sylvie corrected him* 
"There's no good saying 'and jour: you can't be sure 
about the four!" 

"And you're as wrong as ever!" Bruno exclaimed tri- 
umphantly. "It's just the four I can be sure about; 'cause 
they're here, grubbling under the window! It's the thou- 
sand I isn't pruflickly sure about!" 

"But some of them have gone into the sty," Sylvie said, 
leaning over him to look out of the window. 

"Yes," said Bruno; "but they went so slowly and so 
fewly, I didn't care to count themT 

"We must be going, children," I said. "Wish Bessie 
good-bye." Sylvie flung her arms round the little maiden's 
neck, and kissed her : but Bruno stood aloof, looking un- 
usually shy. ("I never kiss nobody but Sylvie!" he ex- 


plained to me afterwards.) The farmer's wife showed us 
out: and we were soon on our way back to Elveston. 

"And that's the new pubhc-house that we were talking 
about, I suppose?" I said, as we came in sight of a long 
low building, with the words "The Golden Lion" over 
the door. 

"Yes, that's it," said Sylvie. "I wonder if her Willie's 
inside ? Run in, Bruno, and see if he's there." 

I interposed, feeling that Bruno was, in a sort of way, in 
my care. "That's not a place to send a child into." For 
already the revelers were getting noisy: and a wild dis- 
cord of singing, shouting, and meaningless laughter came 
to us through the open windows. 

"They wo'n't see him, you know," Sylvie explained. 
"Wait a minute, Bruno!" She clasped the jewel, that al- 
ways hung round her neck, between the palms of her 
hands, and muttered a few words to herself. What they 
were I could not at all make out, but some mysterious 
change seemed instantly to pass over us. My feet seemed 
to me no longer to press the ground, and the dream-like 
feeling came upon me, that I was suddenly endowed with 
the power of floating in the air. I could still just see the 
children: but their forms were shadowy and unsubstan- 
tial, and their voices sounded as if they came from some 
distant place and time, they were so unreal. However, I 
offered no further opposition to Bruno's going into the 
house. He was back again in a few moments. "No, he 
isn't come yet," he said. "They're talking about him in- 
side, and saying how drunk he was last week." 

While he was speaking, one of the men lounged out 
through the door, a pipe in one hand and a mug of beer 
in the other, and crossed to where we were standing, so 
as to get a better view along the road. Two or three others 
leaned out through the open window, each holding his 


mug of beer, with red faces and sleepy eyes. "Canst see 
him, lad?" one of them asked. 

"I dunnot know," the man said, taking a step forwards, 
which brought us nearly face to face. Sylvie hastily pulled 
me out of his way. "Thanks, child," I said. "I had forgot- 
ten he couldn't see us. What would have happened if I 
had staid in his way?" 

"I don't know," Sylvie said gravely. "It wouldn't matter 
to us; but you may be different." She said this in her us- 
ual voice, but the man took no sort of notice, though she 
was standing close in front of him, and looking up into 
his face as she spoke. 

"He's coming now!" cried Bruno, pointing down the 

"He be a-coomin noo!" echoed the man, stretching out 
his arm exactly over Bruno's head, and pointing with his 

"Then chorus agin!" was shouted out by one of the 
red-faced men in the window: and forthwith a dozen 
voices yelled, to a harsh discordant melody, the refrain : — 

''There's him, an yo' , an' me, 
Roar in lad die si 
We loves a bit o' spree, 
Roar in laddies we, 

Roarin laddies 
Roarin lad die si" 

The man lounged back again to the house, joining lust- 
ily in the chorus as he went : so that only the children and 
I were in the road when "Willie" came up. 

Chapter VI 

Willie's Wife 

He made for the door of the pubHc-house, but the chil- 
dren intercepted him. Sylvie clung to one arm; while 
Bruno, on the opposite side, was pushing him with all his 
strength, and many inarticulate cries of "Gee-up! Gee- 
back! Woah then!" which he had picked up from the 

"Willie" took not the least notice of them: he was sim- 
ply conscious that something had checked him: and, for 
want of any other way of accounting for it, he seemed to 
regard it as his own act. 

"I wunnut coom in," he said: "not to-day." 

"A mug o' beer wunnut hurt 'ee!" his friends shouted 
in chorus. ''Two mugs wunnut hurt 'ee! Nor a dozen 

"Nay," said Willie. "Fm agoan whoam." 

"What, withouten thy drink, Willie man?" shouted the 
others. But "Willie man" would have no more discussion, 
and turned doggedly away, the children keeping one on 
each side of him, to guard him against any change in his 
sudden resolution. 

For a while he walked on stoutly enough, keeping his 
hands in his pockets, and softly whistling a tune, in time 
to his heavy tread : his success, in appearing entirely at his 
ease, was almost complete; but a careful observer would 
have noted that he had forgotten the second part of the 
air, and that, when it broke down, he instantly began it 
again, being too nervous to think of another, and too rest- 
less to endure silence. 

It was not the old fear that possessed him now — the old 
fear, that had been his dreary companion every Saturday 


Willie's wife 569 

night he could remember as he had reeled along, steady- 
ing himself against gates and garden-palings, and when 
the shrill reproaches of his wife had seemed to his dazed 
brain only the echo of a yet more piercing voice within, 
the intolerable wail of a hopeless remorse : it was a wholly 
new fear that had come to him now: life had taken on 
itself a new set of colours, and was lighted up with a new 
and dazzling radiance, and he did not see, as yet, how 
his home-life, and his wife and child, would fit into the 
new order of things : the very novelty of it all was, to his 
simple mind, a perplexity and an overwhelming terror. 

And now the tune died into sudden silence on the 
trembling lips, as he turned a sharp corner, and came in 
sight of his own cottage, where his wife stood, leaning 
with folded arms on the wicket-gate, and looking up the 
road with a pale face, that had in it no glimmer of the 
light of hope — only the heavy shadow of a deep stony 

"Fine an' early, lad! Fine an' early!" The words might 
have been words of welcoming, but oh, the bitterness of 
the tone in which she said it! "What brings thee from thy 
merry mates, and all the fiddling and the jigging? Pock- 
ets empty, I doubt ? Or thou'st come, mebbe, or to see thy 
little one die? The bairnie's clemmed, and I've nor bite 
nor sup to gie her. But what does thou care?" She flung 
the gate open, and met him with blazing eyes of fury. 

The man said no word. Slowly, and with downcast 
eyes, he passed into the house, while she, half terrified at 
his strange silence, followed him in without another 
word; and it was not till he had sunk into a chair, with 
his arms crossed on the table and with drooping head, that 
she found her voice again. 

It seemed entirely natural for us to go in with them: at 
another time one would have asked leave for this, but I 


felt, I knew not why, that we were in some mysterious 
way invisible, and as free to come and to go as disem- 
bodied spirits. 

The child in the cradle woke up, and raised a piteous 
cry, which in a moment brought the children to its side : 
Bruno rocked the cradle, while Sylvie tenderly replaced 
the little head on the pillow from which it had slipped. 
But the mother took no heed of the cry, nor yet of the sat- 
isfied "coo" that it set up when Sylvie had made it happy 
again: she only stood gazing at her husband, and vainly 
trying, with white quivering lips (I believe she thought he 
was mad), to speak in the old tones of shrill upbraiding 
that he knew so well. 

"And thou'st spent all thy wages — I'll swear thou hast 
— on the devil's own drink — and thou'st been and made 
thysen a beast again — as thou alius dost — " 

"Hasna!" the man muttered, his voice hardly rising 
above a whisper, as he slowly emptied his pockets on the 
table. "There's th' wage, Missus, every penny on't." 

The woman gasped, and put one hand to her heart, as if 
under some great shock of surprise. "Then how's thee got- 
ten th' drink?" 

"Hasna gotten it," he answered her, in a tone more sad 
than sullen. "I hanna touched a drop this blessed day. 
No!" he cried aloud, bringing his clenched fist heavily 
down upon the table, and looking up at her with gleam- 
ing eyes, "nor I'll never touch another drop o' the cursed 
drink — till I die — so help me God my Maker!" His voice, 
which had suddenly risen to a hoarse shout, dropped 
again as suddenly : and once more he bowed his head, and 
buried his face in his folded arms. 

The woman had dropped upon her knees by the cradle, 
while he was speaking. She neither looked at him nor 
seemed to hear him. With hands clasped above her head, 


she rocked herself wildly to and fro. "Oh my God! Oh my 
God!" was all she said, over and over again. 

Sylvie and Bruno gendy unclasped her hands and drew 
them down — till she had an arm round each of them, 
though she took no notice of them, but knelt on with eyes 
gazing upwards, and lips that moved as if in silent thanks- 
giving. The man kept his face hidden, and uttered no 
sound: but one could see the sobs that shook him from 
head to foot. 

After a while he raised his head — his face all wet with 
tears. "Polly!" he said softly; and then, louder, "Old Poll!" 

Then she rose from her knees and came to him, with a 
dazed look, as if she were walking in her sleep. "Who 
was it called me old Poll?" she asked: her voice took on 
it a tender playfulness: her eyes sparkled; and the rosy 
light of Youth flushed her pale cheeks, till she looked 
more like a happy girl of seventeen than a worn woman 
of forty. "Was that my own lad, my Willie, a-waiting for 
me at the stile?" 

His face too was transformed, in the same magic light, 
to the likeness of a bashful boy: and boy and girl they 
seemed, as he wound an arm about her, and drew her to 
his side, while with the other hand he thrust from him the 
heap of money, as though it were something hateful to 
the touch. "Tak it, lass," he said, "tak it all! An' fetch us 
summat to eat: but get a sup o' milk, first, for t' bairn." 

"My little bairn!" she murmured as she gathered up the 
coins. "My own little lassie!" Then she moved to the door, 
and was passing out, but a sudden thought seemed to ar- 
rest her : she hastily returned — first to kneel down and kiss 
the sleeping child, and then to throw herself into her 
husband's arms and be strained to his heart. The next 
moment she was on her way, taking with her a jug that 
hung on a peg near the door : we followed close behind. 


We had not gone far before we came in sight of a 
swinging sign-board bearing the word "dairy" on it, and 
here she went in, welcomed by a Httle curly white dog, 
who, not being under the "eerie" influence, saw the chil- 
dren, and received them with the most effusive affection. 
When I got inside, the dairyman was in the act of taking 
the money. "Is't for thysen. Missus, or for t' bairn?" he 
asked, when he had filled the jug, pausing with it in his 

"For t' bairnr she said, almost reproachfully. "Think'st 
tha I'd touch a drop mysen^ while as she hadna got her 

"All right, Missus," the man replied, turning away with 
the jug in his hand. "Let's just mak sure it's good meas- 
ure." He went back among his shelves of milk-bowls, care- 
fully keeping his back towards her while he emptied a lit- 
tle measure of cream into the jug, muttering to himself 
"mebbe it'll hearten her up a bit, the little lassie!" 

The woman never noticed the kind deed, but took back 
the jug with a simple "Good evening, Master," and went 
her way : but the children had been more observant, and, 
as we followed her out, Bruno remarked "That were 
welly kind : and I loves that man : and if I was welly rich 
I'd give him a hundred pounds — and a bun. That little 
grummeling dog doosn't know its business!" He referred 
to the dairyman's little dog, who had apparently quite 
forgotten the affectionate welcome he had given us on 
our arrival, and was now following at a respectful dis- 
tance, doing his best to ''speed the parting guest'' with a 
shower of little shrill barks, that seemed to tread on one 
another's heels. 

"What is a dog's business?" laughed Sylvie. "Dogs 
ca'n't keep shops and give change!" 


"Sisters' businesses isn't to laugh at their brothers," 
Bruno repHed with perfect gravity. "And dogs' businesses 
is to barli — not Uke that: it should finish one bark before 
it begins another: and it should — Oh Sylvie, there's some 

And in another moment the happy children were flying 
across the common, racing for the patch of dandelions. 

While I stood watching them, a strange dreamy feeling 
came upon me: a railway-platform seemed to take the 
place of the green sward, and, instead of the light figure 
of Sylvie bounding along, I seemed to see the flying form 
of Lady Muriel; but whether Bruno had also undergone 
a transformation, and had become the old man whom she 
was running to overtake, I was unable to judge, so in- 
stantaneously did the feeling come and go. 

When I re-entered the little sitting-room which I shared 
with Arthur, he was standing with his back to me, look- 
ing out of the open window, and evidently had not heard 
me enter. A cup of tea, apparently just tasted and pushed 
aside, stood on the table, on the opposite side of which was 
a letter, just begun, with the pen lying across it: an open 
book lay on the sofa : the London paper occupied the easy 
chair; and on the little table, which stood by it, I noticed 
an unlighted cigar and an open box of cigar-lights: all 
things betokened that the Doctor, usually so methodical 
and so self-contained, had been trying every form of oc- 
cupation, and could settle to none! 

"This is very unlike you^ Doctor!" I was beginning, but 
checked myself, as he turned at the sound of my voice, in 
sheer amazement at the wonderful change that had taken 
place in his appearance. Never had I seen a face so radi- 
ant with happiness, or eyes that sparkled with such un- 
earthly light! "Even thus," I thought, "must the herald- 


angel have looked, who brought to the shepherds, watch- 
ing over their flocks by night, that sweet message of 'peace 
on earth, good-will to men!'' 

"Yes, dear friend!" he said, as if in. answer to the ques- 
tion that I suppose he read in my face. "It is true! It is 

No need to ask what was true. "God bless you both!" I 
said, as I felt the happy tears brimming to my eyes. "You 
were made for each other!" 

"Yes," he said, simply, "I believe we were. And what 
a change it makes in one's Life! This isn't the same 
world! That isn't the sky I saw yesterday! Those clouds — 
I never saw such clouds in all my life before! They look 
like troops of hovering angels!" 

To me they looked very ordinary clouds indeed: but 
then I had not fed ''on Jioneydew, And drun\ the mil\ of 

"She wants to see you — at once," he continued, de- 
scending suddenly to the things of earth. "She says that is 
the one drop yet wanting in her cup of happiness!" 

"I'll go at once," I said, as I turned to leave the room. 
"Wo'n't you come with me?" 

"No, Sir!" said the Doctor, with a sudden effort — 
which proved an utter failure — to resume his professional 
manner. "Do I loo/{ like coming with you? Have you 
never heard that two is company, and — " 

"Yes," I said, "I hat/e heard it: and I'm painfully aware 
that / am Number Three! But, when shall we three meet 
agam r 

"When the hurly-burly s done!" he answered with a 
happy laugh, such as I had not heard from him for many 
a year. 

Chapter VII 

Mein Herr 

Sol went on my lonely way, and, on reaching the Hall, I 
found Lady Muriel standing at the garden-gate waiting 
for me. 

"No need to give you joy, or to wish you joy?" I began. 

"None whateverT she replied, with the joyous laugh of 
a child. "We give people what they haven't got: we wish 
for something that is yet to come. For me, it's all herel It's 
all mine! Dear friend," she suddenly broke off, "do you 
think Heaven ever begins on Earthy for any of us?" 

"For some,'' I said. "For some, perhaps, who are simple 
and childlike. You know He said 'of such is the Kingdom 
of Heaven.' " 

Lady Muriel clasped her hands, and gazed up into the 
cloudless sky, with a look I had often seen in Sylvie's eyes. 
"I feel as if it had begun for m<f," she almost whispered. 
"I feel as if / were one of the happy children, whom He 
bid them bring near to Him, though the people would 
have kept them back. Yes, He has seen me in the throng. 
He has read the wistful longing in my eyes. He has beck- 
oned me to Him. They have had to make way for me. 
He has taken me up in His arms. He has put His hands 
upon me and blessed me!" She paused, breathless in her 
perfect happiness. 

"Yes," I said. "I think He has!" 

"You must come and speak to my father," she went on, 
as we stood side by side at the gate, looking down the 
shady lane. But, even as she said the words, the "eerie" 
sensation came over me like a flood: I saw the dear old 
Professor approaching us, and also saw, what was strang- 
er still, that he was visible to Lady Muriel! 



What was to be done? Had the fairy-Ufe been merged 
in the real H£e? Or was Lady Muriel "eerie" also, and thus 
able to enter into the fairy-world along with me? The 
words were on my lips ("I see an old friend of mine in 
the lane : if you don't know him, may I introduce him to 
you?") when the strangest thing of all happened: Lady 
Muriel spoke. 

"I see an old friend of mine in the lane," she said: "if 
you don't know him, may I introduce him to you?" 

I seemed to wake out of a dream: for the "eerie" feeling 
was still strong upon me, and the figure outside seemed 
to be changing at every moment, like one of the shapes in 
a kaleidoscope: now he was the Professor, and now he 
was somebody else! By the time he had reached the gate, 
he certainly was somebody else : and I felt that the proper 
course was for Lady Muriel, not for me, to introduce him. 
She greeted him kindly, and, opening the gate, admitted 
the venerable old man — a German, obviously — who 
looked about him with dazed eyes, as if he, too, had but 
just awaked from a dream! 

No, it was certainly not the Professor! My old friend 
could not have grown that magnificent beard since last 
we met: moreover, he would have recognised me, for I 
was certain that / had not changed much in the time. 

As it was, he simply looked at me vaguely, and took 
off his hat in response to Lady Muriel's words "Let me 
introduce Mein Herr to you"; while in the words, spoken 
in a strong German accent, "proud to make your ac- 
quaintance, Sir!" I could detect no trace of an idea that 
we had ever met before. 

Lady Muriel led us to the well-known shady nook, 
where preparations for afternoon-tea had already been 
made, and, while she went in to look for the Earl, we 


seated ourselves in two easy-chairs, and "Mein Herr" took 
up Lady Muriel's work, and examined it through his 
large spectacles (one of the adjuncts that made him so 
provokingly like the Professor). "Hemming pocket-hand- 
kerchiefs?" he said, musingly. "So that is what the Eng- 
lish miladies occupy themselves with, is it?" 

"It is the one accomplishment," I said, "in which Man 
has never yet rivaled Woman!" 

Here Lady Muriel returned with her father; and, after 
he had exchanged some friendly words with "Mein 
Herr," and we had all been supplied with the needful 
"creature-comforts," the newcomer returned to the sug- 
gestive subject of Pocket-handkerchiefs. 

"You have heard of Fortunatus's Purse, Miladi? Ah, 
so! Would you be surprised to hear that, with three of 
these leetle handkerchiefs, you shall make the Purse of 
Fortunatus, quite soon, quite easily?" 

"Shall I indeed?" Lady Muriel eagerly replied, as she 
took a heap of them into her lap, and threaded her 
needle. ''Please tell me how, Mein Herr! I'll make one be- 
fore I touch another drop of tea!" 

"You shall first," said Mein Herr, possessing himself of 
two of the handkerchiefs, spreading one upon the other, 
and holding them up by two corners, "you shall first join 
together these upper corners, the right to the right, the left 
to the left; and the opening between them shall be the 
mouth of the Purse." 

A very few stitches sufficed to carry out this direction. 
"Now, if I sew the other three edges together," she sug- 
gested, "the bag is complete?" 

"Not so, Miladi: the lower edges shall first be joined — 
ah, not so!" (as she was beginning to sew them together). 
"Turn one of them over, and join the right lower corner 


o£ the one to the left lower corner of the other, and sew 
the lower edges together in what you would call the 
wrong wayT 

"/ see!" said Lady Muriel, as she deftly executed the 
order. "And a very twisted, uncomfortable, uncanny- 
looking bag it makes! But the moral is a lovely one. Un- 
limited wealth can only be attained by doing things in 
the wrong way! And how are we to join up these mys- 
terious — no, I mean this mysterious opening?" (twisting 
the thing round and round with a puzzled air.) "Yes, it 
is one opening. I thought it was two^ at first." 

"You have seen the puzzle of the Paper Ring?" Mein 
Herr said, addressing the Earl. "Where you take a slip of 
paper, and join its ends together, first twisting one, so as 
to join the upper corner of one end to the lower corner of 
the other?'' 

"I saw one made, only yesterday," the Earl replied. 
"Muriel, my child, were you not making one, to amuse 
those children you had to tea?" 

"Yes, I know that Puzzle," said Lady Muriel. "The 
Ring has only one surface, and only one edge. It's very 

"The bag is just like that, isn't it?" I suggested. "Is not 
the outer surface of one side of it continuous with the 
inner surface of the other side ?" 

"So it is!" she exclaimed. "Only it isnt a bag, just yet. 
How shall we fill up this opening, Mein Herr?" 

"Thus!" said the old man impressively, taking the bag 
from her, and rising to his feet in the excitement of the 
explanation. "The edge of the opening consists of jour 
handkerchief-edges, and you can trace it continuously, 
round and round the opening: down the right edge of 
one handkerchief, up the left edge of the other ^ and then 


down the left edge o£ the one^ and up the right edge o£ 
the otherT 

"So you can!" Lady Muriel murmured thoughtfully, 
leaning her head on her hand, and earnestly watching the 
old man. "And that proves it to be only one opening!" 

She looked so strangely like a child, puzzling over a 
difficult lesson, and Mein Herr had become, for the mo- 
ment, so strangely like the old Professor, that I felt utter- 
ly bewildered: the "eerie" feeling was on me in its full 
force, and I felt almost impelled to say "Do you under- 
stand it, Sylvie?" However I checked myself by a great 
effort, and let the dream (if indeed it was a dream) go on 
to its end. 

"Now, this third handkerchief," Mein Herr proceeded, 
"has also four edges, which you can trace continuously 
round and round: all you need do is to join its four edges 
to the four edges of the opening. The Purse is then com- 
plete, and its outer surface — " 

"/ see!" Lady Muriel eagerly interrupted. "Its outer sur- 
face will be continuous with its inner surface! But it will 
take time. I'll sew it up after tea." She laid aside the bag, 
and resumed her cup of tea. "But why do you call it For- 
tunatus's Purse, Mein Herr?" 

The dear old man beamed upon her, with a jolly smile, 
looking more exactly like the Professor than ever. "Don't 
you see, my child — I should say Miladi? Whatever is in- 
side that Purse, is outside it; and whatever is outside it, is 
inside it. So you have all the wealth of the world in that 
leetle Purse!" 

His pupil clapped her hands, in unrestrained delight. 
"I'll certainly sew the third handkerchief in — some time," 
she said: "but I wo'n't take up your time by trying it now. 
Tell us some more wonderful things, please!" And her 


face and her voice so exactly recalled Sylvie, that I could 
not help glancing round, half-expecting to see Bruno also! 

Mein Herr began thoughtfully balancing his spoon on 
the edge of his teacup, while he pondered over this re- 
quest. "Something wonderful — like Fortunatus's Purse? 
That will give you — when it is made — wealth beyond 
your wildest dreams: but it will not give you Timer 

A pause of silence ensued — utilised by Lady Muriel for 
the very practical purpose of refilling the teacups. 

"In your country," Mein Herr began with a startling 
abruptness, "what becomes of all the wasted Time?" 

Lady Muriel looked grave. "Who can tell?" she half- 
whispered to herself. "All one knows is that it is gone — 
past recall!" 

"Well, in my — I mean in a country / have visited," said 
the old man, "they store it up: and it comes in very use- 
ful, years afterwards! For example, suppose you have a 
long tedious evening before you : nobody to talk to : noth- 
ing you care to do: and yet hours too soon to go to bed. 
How do you behave then ?" 

"I get very cross," she frankly admitted: "and I want 
to throw things about the room!" 

"When that happens to — to the people I have visited, 
they never act so. By a short and simple process — which I 
cannot explain to you — they store up the useless hours: 
and, on some other occasion, when they happen to need 
extra time, they get them out again." 

The Earl was listening with a slightly incredulous 
smile. "Why cannot you explain the process?" he en- 

Mein Herr was ready with a quiet unanswerable rea- 
son. "Because you have no words^ in your language, to 
convey the ideas which are needed. I could explain it in — 
in — but vou would not understand it!" 


"No indeed!" said Lady Muriel, graciously dispensing 
with the name o£ the unknown language. "I never learnt 
it — at least, not to speak it fluently^ you know. Please tell 
us some more wonderful things!" 

"They run their railway-trains without any engines — 
nothing is needed but machinery to stop them with. Is 
that wonderful enough, Miladi?" 

"But where does the force come from?" I ventured to 

Mein Herr turned quickly round, to look at the new 
speaker. Then he took oflE his spectacles, and polished 
them, and looked at me again, in evident bewilderment. I 
could see he was thinking — as indeed / was also — that we 
must have met before. 

"They use the force of gravity^'' he said. "It is a force 
known also in your country, I believe?" 

"But that would need a railway going down-hilly'' the 
Earl remarked. "You ca'n't have all your railways going 
down-hill ? " 

"They all do," said Mein Herr. 

"Not from Z?(9//? ends?" 

"From both ends." 

"Then I give it up!" said the Earl. 

"Can you explain the process?" said Lady Muriel. 
"Without using that language, that I ca'n't speak flu- 

"Easily," said Mein Herr. "Each railway is in a long 
tunnel, perfectly straight: so of course the middle of it is 
nearer the centre of the globe than the two ends : so every 
train runs half-way down-hill, and that gives it force 
enough to run the other half up-hilV 

"Thank you. I understand that perfectly," said Lady 
Muriel. "But the velocity, in the middle of the tunnel, 
must be something fearful!'' 


Mein Herr was evidently much gratified at the intelH- 
gent interest Lady Muriel took in his remarks. At every 
moment the old man seemed to grow more chatty and 
more fluent. "You would like to know our methods of 
driving?'' he smilingly enquired. "To us, a run-away 
horse is of no import at all!" 

Lady Muriel slightly shuddered. "To us it is a very real 
danger," she said. 

"That is because your carriage is wholly behind your 
horse. Your horse runs. Your carriage follows. Perhaps 
your horse has the bit in his teeth. Who shall stop him? 
You fly, ever faster and faster! Finally comes the in- 
evitable upset!" 

"But suppose your horse manages to get the bit in his 

"No matter! We would not concern ourselves. Our 
horse is harnessed in the very centre of our carriage. Two 
wheels are in front of him, and two behind. To the roof 
is attached one end of a broad belt. This goes under the 
horse's body, and the other end is attached to a leetle — 
what you call a 'windlass,' I think. The horse takes the 
bit in his teeth. He runs away. We are flying at ten miles 
an hour! We turn our little windlass, five turns, six turns, 
seven turns, and — poof! Our horse is off the ground! Now 
let him gallop in the air, as much as he pleases: our car- 
riage stands still. We sit round him, and watch him till he 
is tired. Then we let him down. Our horse is glad, very 
much glad, when his feet once more touch the ground!" 

"Capital!" said the Earl, who had been listening atten- 
tively. "Are there any other peculiarities in your car- 
riages r 

"In the wheels^ sometimes, my Lord. For your health, 
you go to sea : to be pitched, to be rolled, occasionally to be 


drowned. We do all that on land: we are pitched, as you; 
we are rolled, as you; but drowned, no! There is no 

"What are the wheels like, then?" 

"They are oval, my Lord. Therefore the carriages rise 
and fall." 

"Yes, and pitch the carriage backwards and forwards: 
but how do they make it roll?'' 

"They do not match, my Lord. The end of one wheel 
answers to the side of the opposite wheel. So first one side 
of the carriage rises, then the other. And it pitches all the 
while. Ah, you must be a good sailor, to drive in our 

"I can easily believe it," said the Earl. 

Mein Herr rose to his feet. "I must leave you now, Mi- 
ladi," he said, consulting his watch. "I have another en- 

"I only wish we had stored up some extra time!" Lady 
Muriel said, as she shook hands with him. "Then we 
could have kept you a little longer!" 

"In that case I would gladly stay," replied Mein Herr. 
"As it is — I fear I must say good-bye!" 

"Where did you first meet him?" I asked Lady Muriel, 
when Mein Herr had left us. "And where does he live? 
And what is his real name?" 

"We first — met — him — " she musingly replied, "really, 
I ca'n't remember where! And I've no idea where he lives! 
And I never heard any other name! It's very curious. It 
never occurred to me before to consider what a mystery 
he is!" 

"I hope we shall meet again," I said: "he interests me 
verv much." 

"He will be at our farewell-party, this day fortnight," 


said the Earl. "Of course you will come? Muriel is anxious 
to gather all our friends around us once more, before we 
leave the place." 

And then he explained to me — as Lady Muriel had left 
us together — that he was so anxious to get his daughter 
away from a place full of so many painful memories con- 
nected with the now-canceled engagement with Major 
Lindon, that they had arranged to have the wedding in a 
month's time, after which Arthur and his wife were to go 
on a foreign tour. 

"Don't forget Tuesday week!" he said as we shook 
hands at parting. "I only wish you could bring with you 
those charming children, that you introduced to us in the 
summer. Talk of the mystery of Mein Herr! That's noth- 
ing to the mystery that seems to attend them 1 1 shall never 
forget those marvellous flowers!" 

"I will bring them if I possibly can," I said. But how to 
fulfil such a promise, I mused to myself on my way back 
to our lodgings, was a problem entirely beyond my skill! 

Chapter VIII 
In a Shady Place 

The ten days glided swiftly away: and, the day before the 
great party was to take place, Arthur proposed that we 
should stroll down to the Hall, in time for afternoon-tea. 

"Hadn't you better go alone?'' I suggested. "Surely / 
shall be very much de trop?'' 

"Well, it'll be a kind of experiment,'' he said. ''Fiat ex- 
perimentum in corpore vili!'^ he added, with a graceful 
bow of mock politeness towards the unfortunate victim. 


"You see I shall have to bear the sight, to-morrow night, of 
my lady-love making herself agreeable to everybody except 
the right person, and I shall bear the agony all the better 
if we have a dress-rehearsal beforehand!" 

"A/y part in the play being, apparently, that of the 
sample wrong person?" 

"Well, no," Arthur said musingly, as we set forth: 
"there's no such part in a regular company. 'Heavy Fa- 
ther'? That won't do: that's filled already. 'Singing Cham- 
bermaid'? Well, the Tirst Lady' doubles that part. 'Comic 
Old Man' ? You're not comic enough. After all, I'm afraid 
there's no part for you but the 'Well-dressed Villain': 
only," wdth a critical side-glance, "I'm a leetle uncertain 
about the dress!" 

We found Lady Muriel alone, the Earl having gone out 
to make a call, and at once resumed old terms of intimacy, 
in the shady arbour where the tea-things seemed to be al- 
ways waiting. The only novelty in the arrangements (one 
which Lady Muriel seemed to regard as entirely a matter 
of course), was that two of the chairs were placed quite 
close together, side by side. Strange to say, / was not in- 
vited to occupy either of them! 

"We have been arranging, as we came along, about let- 
ter-writing," Arthur began. "He will want to know how 
we're enjoying our Swiss tour: and of course we must pre- 
tend we are?'' 

"Of course," she meekly assented. 

"And the skeleton-in-the-cupboard — " I suggested. 

" — is always a difficulty," she quickly put in, "when 
you're traveling about, and when there are no cupboards 
in the hotels. However, ours is a very portable one; and 
will be neatly packed, in a nice leather case — " 

"But please don't think about writing^'' I said, "when 
you've anything more attractive on hand. I delight in 


reading letters, but I know well how tiring it is to write 

"It is, sometimes," Arthur assented. "For instance, when 
you're very shy of the person you have to write to." 

"Does that show itself in the letter?'' Lady Muriel en- 
quired. "Of course, when I hear any one talking — you, for 
instance — I can see how desperately shy he is! But can 
you see that in a letter?'^ 

"Well, of course, when you hear any one talk fluently 
— you, for instance — you can see how desperately unshy 
she is — not to say saucy! But the shyest and most inter- 
mittent talker must seem fluent in letter-writing. He may 
have taken half-an-hour to compose his second sentence; 
but there it is, close after the first!" 

"Then letters don't express all that they might express?" 

"That's merely because our system of letter-writing is 
incomplete. A shy writer ought to be able to show that he 
is so. Why shouldn't he make pauses in writing, just as he 
would do in speaking ? He might leave blank spaces — say 
half a page at a time. And a very shy girl — if there is such 
a thing — might write a sentence on the first sheet of her 
letter — then put in a couple of blan\ sheets — then a sen- 
tence on the fourth sheet : and so on." 

"I quite foresee that we — I mean this clever little boy 
and myself — " Lady Muriel said to me, evidently with the 
kind wish to bring me into the conversation, " — are going 
to become famous — of course all our inventions are com- 
mon property now — for a new Code of Rules for Letter- 
writing! Please invent some more, little boy!" 

"Well, another thing greatly needed, little girl, is some 
way of expressing that we dont mean anything." 

"Explain yourself, little boy! Surely you can find no 
difficulty in expressing a total absence of meaning?" 

"I mean that you should be able, when you don't mean 


a thing to be taken seriously, to express that wish. For hu- 
man nature is so constituted that whatever you write ser- 
iously is taken as a joke, and whatever you mean as a 
joke is taken seriously! At any rate, it is so in writing to 
a ladyT 

"Ah! you're not used to writing to ladies!" Lady Muriel 
remarked, leaning back in her chair, and gazing thought- 
fully into the sky. "You should try." 

"Very good," said Arthur. "How many ladies may 1 
begin writing to? As many as I can count on the fingers 
of both hands?" 

"As many as you can count on the thumbs of one 
hand!" his lady-love replied with much severity. "What a 
very naughty little boy he is! Isn't he?" (with an appeal- 
ing glance at me) . 

"He's a little fractious," I said. "Perhaps he's cutting a 
tooth." While to myself I said "How exaetly like Sylvie 
talking to Bruno!" 

"He wants his tea." (The naughty little boy volunteered 
the information.) "He's getting very tired, at the mere 
prospect of the great party to-morrow!" 

"Then he shall have a good rest before-hand!" she 
soothingly replied. "The tea isn't made yet. Come, little 
boy, lean well back in your chair, and think about nothing 
— or about me, whichever you prefer!" 

"All the same, all the same!" Arthur sleepily mur- 
mured, watching her with loving eyes, as she moved her 
chair away to the tea table, and began to make the tea. 
"Then he'll wait for his tea, like a good, patient little 

"Shall I bring you the London Papers?" said Lady Mu- 
riel. "I saw them lying on the table as I came out, but my 
father said there was nothing in them, except that horrid 
murder-trial." (Society was just then enjoying its daily 


thrill of excitement in studying the details o£ a specially 
sensational murder in a thieve's den in the East of Lon- 

"I have no appetite for horrors," Arthur replied. "But I 
hope we have learned the lesson they should teach us — 
though we are very apt to read it backwards!" 

"You speak in riddles," said Lady Muriel. "Please ex- 
plain yourself. See now," suiting the action to the word, "I 
am sitting at your feet, just as if you were a second Gama- 
liel! Thanks, no." (This was to me, who had risen to 
bring her chair back to its former place.) "Pray don't dis- 
turb yourself. This tree and the grass make a very nice 
easy-chair. What is the lesson that one always reads 

WTung : 


Arthur was silent for a minute. "I would like to be clear 
what it is I mean," he said, slowly and thoughtfully, "be- 
fore I say anything to you — because you thinly about it." 

Anything approaching to a compliment was so unusual 
an utterance for Arthur, that it brought a flush of pleasure 
to her cheek, as she replied "It is you^ that give me the ideas 
to think about." 

"One's first thought," Arthur proceeded, "in reading of 
anything specially vile or barbarous, as done by a fellow- 
creature, is apt to be that we see a new depth of Sin re- 
vealed beneath us: and we seem to gaze down into that 
abyss from some higher ground, far apart from it." 

"I think I understand you now. You mean that one 
ought to think — not *God, I thank Thee that I am not as 
other men are' — but 'God, be merciful to me also, who 
might be, but for Thy grace, a sinner as vile as he!' " 

"No," said Arthur. "I meant a great deal more than 

She looked up quickly, but checked herself, and waited 
in silence. 


"One must begin further back, I think. Think of some 
other man, the same age as this poor wretch. Look back 
to the time when they both began hfe — before they had 
sense enough to know Right from Wrong. Then, at any 
rate, they were equal in God's sight?" 

She nodded assent. 

"We have, then, two distinct epochs at which we may 
contemplate the two men whose lives we are comparing. 
At the first epoch they are, so far as moral responsibility is 
concerned, on precisely the same footing : they are alike in- 
capable of doing right or wrong. At the second epoch the 
one man — I am taking an extreme case, for contrast — has 
won the esteem and love of all around him : his character 
is stainless, and his name will be held in honour hereafter: 
the other man's history is one unvaried record of crime, 
and his life is at last forfeited to the outraged laws of his 
country. Now what have been the causes, in each case, of 
each man's condition being what it is at the second epoch? 
They are of two kinds — one acting from within, the other 
from without. These two kinds need to be discussed sepa- 
rately — that is, if I have not already tired you with my 

"On the contrary," said Lady Muriel, "it is a special de- 
light to me to have a question discussed in this way — ana- 
lysed and arranged, so that one can understand it. Some 
books, that profess to argue out a question, are to me in- 
tolerably wearisome, simply because the ideas are all ar- 
ranged hap-hazard — a sort of 'first come, first served.' " 

"You are very encouraging," Arthur replied, with a 
pleased look. "The causes, acting from within, which 
make a man's character what it is at any given moment, 
are his successive acts of volition — that is, his acts of choos- 
ing whether he will do this or that." 


"We are to assume the existence of Free-Will ?" I said, 
in order to have that point made quite clear. 

"I£ not," was the quiet reply, "cadit quaestio: and I have 
no more to say." 

"We will assume it!" the rest of the audience — the ma- 
jority, I may say, looking at it from Arthur's point of view 
— imperiously proclaimed. The orator proceeded. 

"The causes, acting from without^ are his surroundings 
— what Mr. Herbert Spencer calls his 'environment.' Now 
the point I want to make clear is this, that a man is re- 
sponsible for his acts of choosing, but not responsible for 
his environment. Hence, if these two men make, on some 
given occasion, when they are exposed to equal tempta- 
tion, equal efforts to resist and to choose the right, their 
condition, in the sight of God, must be the same. If He is 
pleased in the one case, so will He be in the other; if dis- 
pleased in the one case, so also in the other." 

"That is so, no doubt: I see it quite clearly," Lady Mu- 
riel put in. 

"And yet, owing to their different environments, the 
one may win a great victory over the temptation, while thc- 
other falls into some black abyss of crime." 

"But surely you would not say those men were equally 
guilty in the sight of God?" 

"Either that," said Arthur, "or else I must give up my 
belief in God's perfect justice. But let me put one more 
case, which will show my meaning even more forcibly. 
Let the one man be in a high social position — the other, 
say, a common thief. Let the one be tempted to some triv- 
ial act of unfair dealing — something which he can do with 
the absolute certainty that it will never be discovered — 
something which he can with perfect ease forbear from 
doing — and which he distinctly knows to be a sin. Let the 
other be tempted to some terrible crime — as men would 


consider it — but under an almost overwhelming pressure 
of motives — of course not quite overwhelming, as that 
would destroy all responsibility. Now, in this case, let the 
second man make a greater effort at resistance than the 
first. Also suppose both to fall under the temptation — I say 
that the second man is, in God's sight, less guilty than the 

Lady Muriel drew a long breath. "It upsets all one's 
ideas of Right and Wrong — just at first! Why, in that 
dreadful murder-trial, you would say, I suppose, that it 
was possible that the least guilty man in the Court was the 
murderer, and that possibly the judge who tried him, by 
yielding to the temptation of making one unfair remark, 
had committed a crime outweighing the criminal's whole 

"Certainly I should," Arthur firmly replied. "It sounds 
like a paradox, I admit. But just think what a grievous sin 
it must be, in God's sight, to yield to some very slight 
temptation, which we could have resisted with perfect 
ease, and to do it deliberately, and in the full light of God's 
Law. What penance can atone for a sin like that?'' 

"I ca'n't reject your theory," I said. "But how it seems 
to widen the possible area of Sin in the world!" 

"Is that so?" Lady Muriel anxiously enquired. 

"Oh, not so, not so!" was the eager reply. "To me it 
seems to clear away much of the cloud that hangs over the 
world's history. When this view first made itself clear to 
me, I remember walking out into the fields, repeating to 
myself that line of Tennyson 'There seemed no room for 
sense of wrong!' The thought, that perhaps the real guilt 
of the human race was infinitely less than I fancied it — 
that the millions, whom I had thought of as sunk in hope- 
less depths of sin, were perhaps, in God's sight, scarcely 
sinning at all — was more sweet than words can tell! Life 


seemed more bright and beautiful, when once that thought 
had come! 'A livelier emerald twinkles in the grass, A 
purer sapphire melts into the seal' " His voice trembled as 
he concluded, and the tears stood in his eyes. 

Lady Muriel shaded her face with her hand, and was 
silent for a minute. *'It is a beautiful thought," she said, 
looking up at last. "Thank you — Arthur, for putting it 
into my head!" 

The Earl returned in time to join us at tea, and to give 
us the very unwelcome tidings that a fever had broken out 
in the little harbour-town that lay below us — a fever of so 
malignant a type that, though it had only appeared a day 
or two ago, there were already more than a dozen down 
in it, two or three of whom were reported to be in immi- 
nent danger. 

In answer to the eager questions of Arthur — who of 
course took a deep scientific interest in the matter — he 
could give very few technical details, though he had met 
the local doctor. It appeared, however, that it was an al- 
most new disease — at least in this century, though it might 
prove to be identical with the "Plague" recorded in His- 
tory — very infectious, and frightfully rapid in its action. 
"It will not, however, prevent our party to-morrow," he 
said in conclusion. "None of the guests belong to the in- 
fected district, which is, as you know, exclusively peopled 
by fishermen : so you may come without any fear." 

Arthur was very silent, all the way back, and, on reach- 
ing our lodgings, immediately plunged into medical 
studies, connected with the alarming malady of whose ar- 
rival we had just heard. 

Chapter IX 

The Farewell-Party 

On the following day, Arthur and I reached the Hall in 
good time, as only a few of the guests — it was to be a party 
of eighteen — had as yet arrived; and these were talking 
with the Earl, leaving us the opportunity of a few words 
apart with our hostess. 

"Who is that very learned-looking man with the large 
spectacles?" Arthur enquired. "I haven't met him here be- 
fore, have I?" 

"No, he's a new friend of ours," said Lady Muriel: "a 
German, I believe. He is such a dear old thing! And quite 
the most learned man I ever met — with one exception, of 
course!" she added humbly, as Arthur drew himself up 
with an air of oflFended dignity. 

"And the young lady in blue, just beyond him, talking 
to that foreign-looking man. Is she learned, too?" 

"I don't know," said Lady Muriel. "But I'm told she's a 
wonderful piano-forte-player. I hope you'll hear her to- 
night. I asked that foreigner to take her in, because hes 
very musical, too. He's a French Count, I believe; and he 
sings splendidly!'' 

"Science — music — singing — you have indeed got a com- 
plete party!" said Arthur. "I feel quite a privileged person, 
meeting all these stars. I do love music!" 

"But the party isn't quite complete!" said Lady Muriel. 
"You haven't brought us those two beautiful children," 
she went on, turning to me. "He brought them here to tea, 
you know, one day last summer," again addressing Ar- 
thur; "and they are such darlings!" 

"They are, indeed,'' I assented. 



"But why haven't you brought them with you? You 
promised my father you wouldT 

"I'm very sorry," I said; "but really it was impossible to 
bring them with me." Here I most certainly meant to con- 
clude the sentence: and it was with a feeling of utter 
amazement, which I cannot adequately describe, that I 
heard myself going on speaking. " — but they are to join 
me here in the course of the evening" were the words, ut- 
tered in my voice, and seeming to come from my lips. 

"I'm so glad!" Lady Muriel joyfully replied. "I shall en- 
joy introducing them to some of my friends here! When 
do you expect them?" 

I took refuge in silence. The only honest reply would 
have been "That was not my remark. 7 didn't say it, and 
it isn't trueT But I had not the moral courage to make 
such a confession. The character of a "lunatic" is not, I 
believe, very difficult to acquire: but it is amazingly diffi- 
cult to get rid of: and it seemed quite certain that any such 
speech as that would quite justify the issue of a writ "de 
lunatico inquirendoT 

Lady Muriel evidently thought I had failed to hear her 
question, and turned to Arthur with a remark on some 
other subject; and I had time to recover from my shock of 
surprise — or to awake out of my momentary "eerie" con- 
dition, whichever it was. 

When things around me seemed once more to be real, 
Arthur was saying "I'm afraid there's no help for it: they 
must be finite in number." 

"I should be sorry to have to believe it," said Lady Mu- 
riel. "Yet, when one comes to think of it, there are no new , 
melodies, now-a-days. What people talk of as 'the last new 
song' always recalls to m,e some tune I've known as a 

"The day must come — if the world lasts long enough — " 


said Arthur, "when every possible tune will have been 
composed — every possible pun perpetrated — " (Lady Mu- 
riel wrung her hands, like a tragedy-queen) "and, worse 
than that, every possible boo\ written! For the number o£ 
words is finite." 

"It'll make very little difference to the authors^' I sug- 
gested. "Instead of saying 'what book shall I write?' an 
author will ask himself 'which book shall I write?' A 
mere verbal distinction!" 

Lady Muriel gave me an approving smile. "But lunatics 
would always write new books, surely?" she went on. 
"They couldn't write the sane books over again!" 

"True," said Arthur. "But their books would come to 
an end, also. The number of lunatic boo\s is as finite as 
the number of lunatics." 

"And that number is becoming greater every year," said 
a pompous man, whom I recognised as the self-appointed 
showman on the day of the picnic. 

"So they say," replied Arthur. "And, when ninety per 
cent, of us are lunatics," (he seemed to be in a wildly non- 
sensical mood) "the asylums will be put to their proper 



And that is — ?" the pompous man gravely enquired. 

''To shelter the saneT said Arthur. "We shall bar our- 
selves in. The lunatics will have it all their own wav, out- 
side. They'll do it a little queerly, no doubt. Railway-colli- 
sions will be always happening: steamers always blowing 
up: most of the towns will be burnt down: most of the 
ships sunk — " 

"And most of the men kjlledT murmured the pompous 
man, who was evidently hopelessly bewildered. 

"Certainly," Arthur assented. "Till at last there will be 
fewer lunatics than sane men. Then we come out: they go 
in: and things return to their normal condition!" 


The pompous man frowned darkly, and bit his Up, and 
folded his arms, vainly trying to think it out. "He is jest- 
ing!'' he muttered to himself at last, in a tone of withering 
contempt, as he stalked away. 

By this time the other guests had arrived; and dinner 
was announced. Arthur of course took down Lady Mu- 
riel : and / was pleased to find myself seated at her other 
side, with a severe-looking old lady (whom I had not met 
before, and whose name I had, as is usual in introductions, 
entirely failed to catch, merely gathering that it sounded 
like a compound-name) as my partner for the banquet. 

She appeared, however, to be acquainted with Arthur, 
and confided to me in a low voice her opinion that he was 
"a very argumentative young man." Arthur, for his part, 
seemed well inclined to show himself worthy of the char- 
acter she had given him, and, hearing her say "I never 
take wine with my soup!" (this was not a confidence to 
me, but was launched upon Society, as a matter of general 
interest), he at once challenged a combat by asking her 
''when would you say that property commence in a plate 
of soup?" 

"This is my soup," she sternly replied: "and what is be- 
fore you is yours,'' 

"No doubt," said Arthur: "but when did I begin to own 
it? Up to the moment of its being put into the plate, it 
was the property of our host: while being offered round 
the table, it was, let us say, held in trust by the waiter : did 
it become mine when I accepted it? Or when it was 
placed before me? Or when I took the first spoonful?" 

"He is a very argumentative young man!" was all the 
old lady would say : but she said it audibly, this time, feel- 
ing that Society had a right to know it. 

Arthur smiled mischievously. "I shouldn't mind betting 
you a shilling," he said, "that the Eminent Barrister next 


you" (It certainly is possible to say words so as to make 
them begin with capitals!) "ca'n't answer me!" 

"I never bet," she sternly replied. 

"Not even sixpenny points at whist?'' 

"NeverT she repeated. ''Whist is innocent enough: but 
whist played for money!'' She shuddered. 

Arthur became serious again. "Fm afraid I ca'n't take 
that view," he said. "I consider that the introduction of 
small stakes for card-playing was one of the most moral 
acts Society ever did, as Society." 

"How was it so?" said Lady Muriel. 

"Because it took Cards, once for all, out of the category 
of games at which cheating is possible. Look at the way 
Croquet is demoralising Society. Ladies are beginning to 
cheat at it, terribly: and, if they're found out, they only 
laugh, and call it fun. But when there's money at stake, 
that is out of the question. The swindler is not accepted as 
a wit. When a man sits down to cards, and cheats his 
friends out of their money, he doesn't get much fun out of 
it — unless he thinks it fun to be kicked down stairs!" 

"If all gentlemen thought as badly of ladies as you do," 
my neighbour remarked with some bitterness, "there 
would be very few — very few — ." She seemed doubtful 
how to end her sentence, but at last took "honeymoons" 
as a safe word. 

"On the contrary," said Arthur, the mischievous smile 
returning to his face, "if only people would adopt my 
theory, the number of honeymoons — quite of a new kind 
— would be greatly increased!" 

"May we hear about this new kind of honeymoon?" 
said Lady Muriel. 

"Let X be the gentleman," Arthur began, in a slightly 
raised voice, as he now found himself with an audience of 
six^ including "Mein Herr," who was seated at the other 


side o£ my polynomial partner. "Let X be the gentleman, 
and y the lady to whom he thinks of proposing. He ap- 
plies for an Experimental Honeymoon. It is granted. 
Forthwith the young couple — accompanied by the great- 
aunt of Y, to act as chaperone — start for a month's tour, 
during which they have many a moonlight-walk, and 
many a tete-a-tete conversation, and each can form a more 
correct estimate of the other's character, in four wee\s, 
than would have been possible in as many years^ when 
meeting under the ordinary restrictions of Society. And it 
is only after their return that X finally decides whether he 
will, or will not, put the momentous question to Y/" 

"In nine cases out of ten," the pompous man proclaim- 
ed, "he would decide to break it off!" 

"Then, in nine cases out of ten," Arthur rejoined, "an 
unsuitable match would be prevented, and both parties 
saved from misery!" 

"The only really unsuitable matches," the old lady re- 
marked, "are those made without sufficient Money. Love 
may come afterwards. Money is needed to begin withT 

This remark was cast loose upon Society, as a sort of 
general challenge; and, as such, it was at once accepted by 
several of those within hearing: Money became the key- 
note of the conversation for some time; and a fitful echo 
of it was again heard, when the dessert had been placed 
upon the table, the servants had left the room, and the 
Earl had started the wine in its welcome progress round 
the table. 

"I'm very glad to see you keep up the old customs," I 
said to Lady Muriel as I filled her glass. "It's really de- 
lightful to experience, once more, the peaceful feeling that 
comes over one when the waiters have left the room — 
when one can converse without the feeling of being over- 


heard, and without having dishes constantly thrust over 
one's shoulder. How much more sociable it is to be able to 
pour out the wine for the ladies, and to hand the dishes to 
those who wish for them!" 

"In that case, kindly send those peaches down here," 
said a fat red-faced man, who was seated beyond our pom- 
pous friend. "Fve been wishing for them — diagonally — 
for some time!" 

"Yes, it is a ghastly innovation," Lady Muriel replied, 
"letting the waiters carry round the wine at dessert. For 
one thing, they always take it the wrong way round — 
which of course brings bad luck to everybody present!" 

"Better go the wrong way than not go at all!'' said our 
host. "Would you kindly help yourself?" (This was to 
the fat red-faced man.) "You are not a teetotaler, I think?" 

"Indeed but I am!'' he replied, as he pushed on the 
bottles. "Nearly twice as much money is spent in England 
on Drinf(, as on any other article of food. Read this card." 
(What faddist ever goes about without a pocketful of the 
appropriate literature?) "The stripes of different colours 
represent the amounts spent on various articles of food. 
Look at the highest three. Money spent on butter and on 
cheese, thirty-five millions : on bread, seventy millions : on 
intoxicating liquors, one hundred and thirty-six millions! 
If I had my way, I would close every public-house in the 
land! Look at that card, and read the motto. That's where 
all the money goes to!" 

"Have you seen the Anti-Teetotal Card?" Arthur in- 
nocently enquired. 

"No, Sir, I have not!" the orator savagely replied. 
"What is it like?" 

"Almost exactly like this one. The coloured stripes are 
the same. Only, instead of the words *Money spent on,' it 


has ^Incomes derived from sale of; and, instead of 'That's 
where all the money goes to,' its motto is 'That's where 
all the money comes from!' " 

The red-faced man scowled, but evidently considered 
Arthur beneath his notice. So Lady Muriel took up the 
cudgels. "Do you hold the theory," she enquired, "that 
people can preach teetotalism more effectually by being 
teetotalers themselves?" 

"Certainly I do!" replied the red-faced man. "Now, here 
is a case in point," unfolding a newspaper-cutting: "let 
me read you this letter from a teetotaler. To the Editor, 
Sir, I was once a moderate drin\er, and \new a man who 
dran\ to excess. I went to him. 'Give up this drin\' I said. 
'It will ruin your health!' 'You drin\' he said: 'why 
shouldn't I?' 'Yes/ I said, 'but I \now when to leave off.' 
He turned away from me. 'You drin\ in your way', he 
said: 'let me drin\ in mine. Be off!' Then I saw that, to do 
any good with him, I must forswear drin\. From that 
hour I haven't touched a drop!" 

"There! What do you say to that?'' He looked round 
triumphantly, while the cutting was handed round for 

"How very curious!" exclaimed Arthur when it had 
reached him. "Did you happen to see a letter, last week, 
about early rising? It was strangely like this one." 

The red-faced man's curiosity was roused. "Where did 
it appear?" he asked. 

"Let me read it to you," said Arthur. He took some pa- 
pers from his pocket, opened one of them, and read as fol- 
lows. To the Editor. Sir, I was once a moderate sleeper, 
and \new a man who slept to excess. I pleaded with him. 
'Give up this lying in bed', I said, 'It will ruin your health!' 
'You go to bed,' he said: 'why shouldn't I?' 'Yes,' I said, 
^but I \now when to get up in the morning.' He turned 


away from me, 'You sleep in your way, he said: 'let me 
sleep in mine. Be o-QY Then 1 saw that to do any good 
with him, I must forswear sleep. From that hour I have- 
n't been to bed!" 

Arthur folded and pocketed his paper, and passed on 
the newspaper-cutting. None of us dared to laugh, the 
red-faced man was evidently so angry. "Your parallel 
doesn't run on all fours!" he snarled. 

''Moderate drinkers never do so!" Arthur quietly re- 
plied. Even the stern old lady laughed at this. 

"But it needs many other things to make a perfect din- 
ner!" said Lady Muriel, evidently anxious to change the 
subject. "Mein Herr! What is your idea of a perfect din- 

The old man looked around smilingly, and his gigantic 
spectacles seemed more gigantic than ever. "A perfect din- 
ner-party?" he repeated. "First, it must be presided over 
by our present hostess!" 

"That of courser she gaily interposed. "But what else^ 
Mein Herr?" 

"I can but tell you what I have seen," said Mein Herr, 
"in mine own — in the country I have traveled in." 

He paused for a full minute, and gazed steadily at the 
ceiling — with so dreamy an expression on his face, that I 
feared he was going off into a reverie, which seemed to be 
his normal state. However, after a minute, he suddenly be- 
gan again. 

"That which chiefly causes the failure of a dinner-party, 
is the running-short — not of meat, nor yet of drink, but of 

"In an English dinner-party," I remarked, "I have never 
known small-talk^ run short!" 

"Pardon me," Mein Herr respectfully replied, "I did not 
say 'small-talk.' I said 'conversation.' All such topics as the 


weather, or politics, or local gossip, are unknown among 
us. They are either vapid or controversial. What we need 
for conversation is a topic of interest and of novelty. To 
secure these things we have tried various plans — Moving- 
Pictures, Wild-Creatures, Moving-Guests, and a Revolv- 
ing-Humorist. But this last is only adapted to small 

. "Let us have it in four separate Chapters, please!" said 
Lady Muriel, who was evidently deeply interested — as, in- 
deed, most of the party were, by this time : and, all down 
the table, talk had ceased, and heads were leaning for- 
wards, eager to catch fragments of Mein Herr's oration. 

"Chapter One! Moving-Pictures!" was proclaimed in 
the silvery voice of our hostess. 

"The dining-table is shaped like a circular ring," Mein 
Herr began, in low dreamy tones, which, however, were 
perfectly audible in the silence. "The guests are seated at 
the inner side as well as the outer, having ascended to 
their places by a winding-staircase, from the room below. 
Along the middle of the table runs a little railway; and 
there is an endless train of trucks, worked round by ma- 
chinery; and on each truck there are two pictures, lean- 
ing back to back. The train makes two circuits during 
dinner; and, when it has been once round, the waiters 
turn the pictures round in each truck, making them face 
the other way. Thus every guest sees every picture!" 

He paused, and the silence seemed deader than ever. 
Lady Muriel looked aghast. "Really, if this goes on," she 
exclaimed, "I shall have to drop a pin! Oh, it's my fault, 
is it?" (In answer to an appealing look from Mein Herr.) 
"I was forgetting my duty. Chapter Two! Wild-Crea- 

"We found the Moving-Pictures a little monotonous," 


said Mein Herr. "People didn't care to talk Art through a 
whole dinner; so we tried Wild-Creatures. Among the 
flowers, which we laid (just as you do) about the table, 
were to be seen, here a mouse, there a beetle; here a spi- 
der," (Lady Muriel shuddered) "there a wasp; here a 
toad, there a snake;" ("Father!" said Lady Muriel, plain- 
tively. "Did you hear that?'') "so we had plenty to talk 

"And when you got stung — " the old lady began. 

"They were all chained-up, dear Madam!" 

And the old lady gave a satisfied nod. 

There was no silence to follow, this time. "Third Chap- 
ter!" Lady Muriel proclaimed at once, "Moving-Guests!" 

"Even the Wild-Creatures proved monotonous," the 
orator proceeded. "So we left the guests to choose their 
own subjects; and, to avoid monotony, we changed them. 
We made the table of two rings ; and the inner ring mov- 
ed slowly round, all the time, along with the floor in the 
middle and the inner row of guests. Thus every inner 
guest was brought face-to-face with every outer guest. It 
was a little confusing, sometimes, to have to begin a story 
to one friend and finish it to another; but every plan has 
its faults, you know." 

"Fourth Chapter!" Lady Muriel hastened to announce. 
"The Revolving-Humorist!" 

"For a small party we found it an excellent plan to have 
a round table, with a hole cut in the middle large enough 
to hold one guest. Here we placed our best talker. He re- 
volved slowly, facing every other guest in turn: and he 
told lively anecdotes the whole time!" 

"I shouldn't like it!" murmured the pompous man. "It 
would make me giddy, revolving like that! I should de- 
cline to — " here it appeared to dawn upon him that per- 


haps the assumption he was making was not warranted 
by the circumstances: he took a hasty gulp of wine, and 
choked himself. 

But Mein Herr had relapsed into reverie, and made no 
further remark. Lady Muriel gave the signal, and the 
ladies left the room. 

Chapter X 
Jabbering and Jam 

When the last lady had disappeared, and the Earl, tak- 
ing his place at the head of the table, had issued the mili- 
tary order "Gentlemen! Close up the ranks, if you 
please!", and when, in obedience to his command, we had 
gathered ourselves compactly round him, the pompous 
man gave a deep sigh of relief, filled his glass to the brim, 
pushed on the wine, and began one of his favorite ora- 
tions. "They are charming, no doubt! Charming, but very 
frivolous. They drag us down, so to speak, to a lower 
level. They — " 

"Do not all pronouns require antecedent nouns?''' the 
Earl gently enquired. 

"Pardon me," said the pompous man, with lofty con- 
descension. "I had overlooked the noun. The ladies. We 
regret their absence. Yet we console ourselves. Thought 
is free. With them, we are limited to trivial topics — Art, 
Literature, Politics, and so forth. One can bear to discuss 
such paltry matters with a lady. But no man, in his senses 
— " (he looked sternly round the table, as if defying con- 
tradiction) " — ever yet discussed WINE with a lady!" 
He sipped his glass of port, leaned back in his chair, and 


slowly raised it up to his eye, so as to look through it at the 
lamp. "The vintage, my Lord?" he enquired, glancing at 
his host. 

The Earl named the date. 

"So I had supposed. But one likes to be certain. The 
tint is, perhaps, slightly pale. But the body is unquestion- 
able. And as for the bouquet — " 

Ah, that magic Bouquet! How vividly that single word 
recalled the scene! The little beggar-boy turning his somer- 
sault in the road — the sweet little crippled maiden in my 
arms — the mysterious evanescent nursemaid — all rushed 
tumultuously into my mind, like the creatures of a dream : 
and through this mental haze there still boomed on, like 
the tolling of a bell, the solemn voice of the great con- 
noisseur of WINE! 

Even his utterances had taken on themselves a strange 
and dream-like form. "No," he resumed — and why is it, 
I pause to ask, that, in taking up the broken thread of a 
dialogue, one always begins with this cheerless monosyl- 
lable? After much anxious thought, I have come to the 
conclusion that the object in view is the same as that of 
the schoolboy, when the sum he is working has got into a 
hopeless muddle, and when in despair he takes the sponge, 
washes it all out, and begins again. Just in the same way 
the bewildered orator, by the simple process of denying 
everything that has been hitherto asserted, makes a clean 
sweep of the whole discussion, and can "start fair" with 
a fresh theory. "No," he resumed: "there's nothing like 
cherry-jam, after all. That's what / say!" 

"Not for all qualities!" an eager little man shrilly inter- 
posed. "For richness of general tone I don't say that it has 
a rival. But for delicacy of modulation — for what one may 
call the 'harmonics' of flavour — give me good old rasp- 


"Allow me one word!" The fat red-faced man, quite 
hoarse with excitement, broke into the dialogue. "It's too 
important a question to be settled by Amateurs! I can give 
you the views of a Professional — perhaps the most ex- 
perienced jam-taster now living. Why, I've known him fix 
the age of strawberry-jam, to a day — and we all know 
what a difficult jam it is to give a date to — on a single 
tasting! Well, I put to him the very question you are dis- 
cussing. His words were VA(?rry-jam is best, for mere 
chiaroscuro of flavour: raspberry-]2in\ lends itself best to 
those resolved discords that linger so lovingly on the 
tongue : but, for rapturous utterness of saccharine perfec- 
tion, it's apricot-jam first and the rest nowhereV That 
was well put, wasnt \X.V 

"Consummately put!" shrieked the eager little man. 

"I know your friend well," said the pompous man. "As 
a jam-taster, he has no rival! Yet I scarcely think — " 

But here the discussion became general : and his words 
were lost in a confused medley of names, every guest 
sounding the praises of his own favorite jam. At length, 
through the din, our host's voice made itself heard. "Let 
us join the ladies!" These words seemed to recall me to 
waking life; and I felt sure that, for the last few minutes, 
I had relapsed into the "eerie" state. 

"A strange dream!" I said to myself as we trooped up- 
stairs. "Grown men discussing, as seriously as if they were 
matters of life and death, the hopelessly trivial details of 
mere delicacies^ that appeal to no higher human function 
than the nerves of the tongue and palate! What a humil- 
iating spectacle such a discussion would be in waking 

When, on our way to the drawing-room, I received 
from the housekeeper my little friends, clad in the dainti- 
est of evening costumes, and looking, in the flush of ex- 


pectant delight, more radiantly beautiful than I had ever 
seen them before, I felt no shock of surprise, but accepted 
the fact with the same unreasoning apathy with which 
one meets the events of a dream, and was merely con- 
scious of a vague anxiety as to how they would acquit 
themselves in so novel a scene — forgetting that Court-life 
in Outland was as good training as they could need for 
Society in the more substantial world. 

It would be best, I thought, to introduce them as soon 
as possible to some good-natured lady-guest, and I selected 
the young lady whose piano-forte-playing had been so 
much talked of. "I am sure you like children," I said. 
"May I introduce two little friends of mine? This is Syl- 
vie — and this is Bruno." 

The young lady kissed Sylvie very graciously. She 
would have done the same for Bruno, but he hastily drew 
back out of reach. "Their faces are new to me," she said. 
"Where do you come from, my dear?" 

I had not anticipated so inconvenient a question; and, 
fearing that it might embarrass Sylvie, I answered for her. 
"They come from some distance. They are only here just 
for this one evening." 

"How far have you come, dear?" the young lady per- 

Sylvie looked puzzled. "A mile or two, I thin\j' she 
said doubtfully. 

'A mile or three,'' said Bruno. 

'You shouldn't say 'a mile or three,' " Sylvie corrected 

The young lady nodded approval. "Sylvie's quite right. 
It isn't usual to say *a mile or three' " 

"It would be usual — if we said it often enough," said 

It was the young lady's turn to look puzzled now. "He's 




very quick, for his age!" she murmured. "You're not more 
than seven, are you, dear?" she added aloud. 

"I'm not so many as that^'' said Bruno. "I'm one, Sylvie's 
one, Sylvie and me is two, Sylvie taught me to count." 

"Oh, I wasn't counting you, you know!" the young 
lady laughingly replied. 

"Hasn't oo learnt to count?" said Bruno. 

The young lady bit her lip. "Dear! What embarrassing 
questions he does ask!" she said in a half-audible "aside." 

"Bruno, you shouldn't!" Sylvie said reprovingly. 

"Shouldn't what?'' said Bruno. 

"You shouldn't ask — that sort of questions." 

''What sort of questions?" Bruno mischievously per- 

"What she told you not," Sylvie replied, with a shy 
glance at the young lady, and losing all sense of grammar 
in her confusion. 

"Oo ca'n't pronounce it!" Bruno triumphantly cried. 
And he turned to the young lady, for sympathy in his vic- 
tory. "I \newed she couldn't pronounce 'umbrella-sting'!" 

The young lady thought it best to return to the arith- 
metical problem. "When I asked if you were seven, you 
know, I didn't mean *how many children?' I meant 'how 
many years — ' " 

"Only got two ears," said Bruno. "Nobody's got seven 


"And you belong to this little girl?" the young lady con- 
tinued, skilfully evading the anatomical problem. 

"No, I doosn't belong to her!" said Bruno. "Sylvie be- 
longs to me!" And he clasped his arms round her as he 
added "She are my very mine!" 

"And, do you know," said the young lady, "I've a little 
sister at home, exactly like your sister? I'm sure they'd 
love each other." 


"They'd be very extremely useful to each other," Bruno 
said, thoughtfully. "And they wouldn't want no looking- 
glasses to brush their hair wiz." 

"Why not, my child?" 

"Why, each one would do for the other one's looking- 
glass a-course!" cried Bruno. 

But here Lady Muriel, who had been standing by, lis- 
tening to this bewildering dialogue, interrupted it to ask if 
the young lady would favour us with some music; and the 
children followed their new friend to the piano. 

Arthur came and sat down by me. "If rumour speaks 
truly," he whispered, "we are to have a real treat!" And 
then, amid a breathless silence, the performance began. 

She was one of those players whom Society talks of as 
"brilliant," and she dashed into the loveliest of Havdn's 
Symphonies in a style that was clearly the outcome of 
years of patient study under the best masters. At first it 
seemed to be the perfection of piano-forte-playing; but in 
a few minutes I began to ask myself, wearily, ''What is it 
that is wanting? Why does one get no pleasure from it?" 

Then I set myself to listen intently to every note; and 
the mystery explained itself. There was an almost-perfect 
mechanical correctness — and there was nothing else! False 
notes, of course, did not occur : she knew the piece too well 
for that; but there was just enough irregularity of time to 
betray that the player had no real "ear" for music — just 
enough inarticulateness in the more elaborate passages to 
show that she did not think her audience worth taking 
real pains for — just enough mechanical monotony of ac- 
cent to take all soul out of the heavenly modulations she 
was profaning — in short, it was simply irritating; and, 
when she had rattled off the finale and had struck the final 
chord as if, the instrument being now done with, it didn't 
matter how many wires she broke, I could not even wQect 


to join in the stereotyped "Oh, than\ you!" which was 
chorused around me. 

Lady Muriel joined us for a moment. "Isn't it beauti- 
Jul?'' she whispered, to Arthur, with a mischievous smile. 

"No it isn't!" said Arthur. But the gentle sweetness of 
his face quite neutralised the apparent rudeness of the 

"Such execution, you know!" she persisted. 

"That's what she deserves'/ Arthur doggedly replied: 
"but people are so prejudiced against capital — " 

"Now you're beginning to talk nonsense!" Lady Muriel 
cried. "But you do like Music, don't you? You said so 
just now." 

"Do I like Music?'' the Doctor repeated softly to him- 
self. "My dear Lady Muriel, there is Music and Music. 
Your question is painfully vague. You might as well ask 
'Do you like People?' " 

Lady Muriel bit her lip, frowned, and stamped with one 
tiny foot. As a dramatic representation of ill-temper, it 
was distinctly not a success. However, it took in one of 
her audience, and Bruno hastened to interpose, as peace- 
maker in a rising quarrel, with the remark "/ likes 

Arthur laid a loving hand on the little curly head. 
"What? All Peoples?" he enquired. 

"Not all Peoples," Bruno explained. "Only but Sylvie — 
and Lady Muriel — and him — " (pointing to the Earl) 
"and oo — and oo!" 

"You shouldn't point at people," said Sylvie. "It's very 

"In Bruno's World," I said, "there are only jour People 
— worth mentioning!" 

"In Bruno's World!" Lady Muriel repeated thought- 
fully. "A bright and flowery world. Where the grass is al- 


ways green, where the breezes always blow softly, and the 
rain-clouds never gather; where there are no wild beasts, 
and no deserts — " 

"There must be deserts," Arthur decisively remarked. 
"At least if it was my ideal world." 

"But what possible use is there in a desert?'' said Lady 
Muriel. ''Surely you would have no wilderness in your 
ideal world?" 

Arthur smiled. "But indeed I wouldT he said. "A wil- 
derness would be more necessary than a railway; and far 
more conducive to general happiness than church-bells!" 

"But what would you use it for?" 

"To practise music in^' he replied. "All the young ladies, 
that have no ear for music, but insist on learning it, should 
be conveyed, every morning, two or three miles into the 
wilderness. There each would find a comfortable room 
provided for her, and also a cheap second-hand piano- 
forte, on which she might play for hours, without adding 
one needless pang to the sum of human misery!" 

Lady Muriel glanced round in alarm, lest these bar- 
barous sentiments should be overheard. But the fair mu- 
sician was at a safe distance. "At any rate you must allow 
that she's a sweet girl?" she resumed. 

"Oh, certainly. As sweet as eau sucree^ if you choose — 
and nearly as interesting!" 

"You are incorrigible!" said Lady Muriel, and turned to 
me. "I hope you found Mrs. Mills an interesting compan- 
ion r 

"Oh, that's her name, is it?" I said. "I fancied there was 
more of it." 

"So there is: and it will be 'at your proper peril' (what- 
ever that may mean) if you ever presume to address her 
as 'Mrs. Mills.' She is 'Mrs. Ernest— Atkinson— Mills'!" 

"She is one of those would-be grandees," said Arthur, 


"who think that, by tacking on to their surname all their 
spare Christian-names, with hyphens between, they can 
give it an aristocratic flavour. As if it wasn't trouble 
enough to remember one surname!" 

By this time the room was getting crowded, as the 
guests, invited for the evening-party, were beginning to 
arrive, and Lady Muriel had to devote herself to the task 
of welcoming them, which she did with the sweetest grace 
imaginable. Sylvie and Bruno stood by her, deeply inter- 
ested in the process. 

"I hope you like my friends?" she said to them. "Spe- 
cially my dear old friend, Mein Herr (What's become of 
him, I wonder? Oh, there he is!), that old gentleman in 
spectacles, with a long beard?" 

"He's a grand old gentleman!" Sylvie said, gazing ad- 
miringly at "Mein Herr," who had settled down in a cor- 
ner, from which his mild eyes beamed on us through a 
gigantic pair of spectacles. "And what a lovely beard!" ^ 

"What does he call his-self ?" Bruno whispered. 

"He calls himself 'Mein Herr,' " Sylvie whispered in 1 

Bruno shook his head impatiently. "That's what he calls 
his hair^ not his selj^ oo silly!" He appealed to me. "What 
doos he call his selj^ Mister Sir?" 

"That's the only name / know of," I said. "But he looks 
very lonely. Don't you pity his grey hairs?" 

"I pities his selj^'' said Bruno, still harping on the mis- 
nomer; "but I doosn't pity his hair, one bit. His hair ca'n't 

"We met him this afternoon," said Sylvie. "We'd been 
to see Nero, and we'd had such fun with him, making 
him invisible again! And we saw that nice old gentleman 
as we came back." 


"Well, let's go and talk to him, and cheer him up a 
little," I said: "and perhaps we shall find out what he calls 

Chapter XI 
The Man in the Moon 

The children came willingly. With one of them on each 
side of me, I approached the corner occupied by "Mein 
Herr." "You don't object to children^ I hope?" I began. 

^'Crabbed age and youth cannot live together!'' the old 
man cheerfully replied, with a most genial smile. "Now 
take a good look at me, my children! You would guess me 
to be an old man, wouldn't you?" 

At first sight, though his face had reminded me so mys- 
teriously of "the Professor," he had seemed to be decidedly 
a younger man: but, when I came to look into the won- 
derful depth of those large dreamy eyes, I felt, with a 
strange sense of awe, that he was incalculably older: he 
seemed to gaze at us out of some by-gone age, centuries 

"I don't know if oo're an old man," Bruno answered, as 
the children, won over by the gentle voice, crept a little 
closer to him. "I thinks oo're eighty-threeT 

"He is very exact!" said Mein Herr. 

"Is he anything like right?" I said. 

"There are reasons," Mein Herr gently replied, "reasons 
which I am not at liberty to explain, for not mentioning 
definitely any Persons, Places, or Dates. One remark only 
I will permit myself to make — that the period of life, be- 
tween the ages of a hundred-and-sixty-five and a hundred- 
and-seventy-five, is a specially safe one." 


"How do you make that out?" I said. 

"Thus. You would consider swimming to be a very safe 
amusement, if you scarcely ever heard of any one dying 
of it. Am I not right in thinking that you never heard of 
any one dying between those two ages?" 

"I see what you mean," I said: "but I'm afraid you ca'n't 
prove swimming to be safe, on the same principle. It is no 
uncommon thing to hear of some one being drowned." 

"In my country," said Mein Herr, "no one is ever 

"Is there no water deep enough?" 

"Plenty! But we ca'n't sin\. We are all lighter than wa- 
ter. Let me explain," he added, seeing my look of surprise. 
"Suppose you desire a race of pigeons of a particular shape 
or colour, do you not select, from year to year, those that 
are nearest to the shape or colour you want, and keep 
those, and part with the others?" 

"We do," I replied. "We call it 'Artificial Selection.' " 

"Exactly so," said Mein Herr. "Well, we have practised 
that for some centuries — constantly selecting the lightest 
people : so that, now, everybody is lighter than water." 

"Then you never can be drowned at sea?'' 

"Never! It is only on the land — for instance, when at- 
tending a play in a theatre — that we are in such a danger. 

"How can that happen at a theatre?" 

"Our theatres are all underground. Large tanks of wa- 
ter are placed above. If a fire breaks out, the taps are turn- 
ed, and in one minute the theatre is flooded, up to the very 
roof! Thus the fire is extinguished." 

''And the audience, I presume?" 

"That is a minor matter," Mein Herr carelessly replied. 
"But they have the comfort of knowing that, whether 
drowned or not, they are all lighter than water. We have 
not yet reached the standard of making people lighter 


than air: but we are aiming at it; and, in another thou- 
sand years or so — " 

"What doos 00 do wiz the peoples that's too heavy?" 
Bruno solemnly enquired. 

"We have applied the same process," Mein Herr con- 
tinued, not noticing Bruno's question, "to many other 
purposes. We have gone on selecting walhing'Stic\s — al- 
ways keeping those that walked best — till we have obtain- 
ed some, that can walk by themselves! We have gone on 
selecting cotton-wool, till we have got some lighter than 
air! You've no idea what a useful material it is! We call it 
*Imponderal.' " 

"What do you use it for?" 

"Well, chiefly for packing articles, to go by Parcel-Post. 
It makes them weigh less than nothings you know." 

"And how do the Post-Office people know what you 
have to pay?" 

"That's the beauty of the new system!" Mein Herr cried 
exultingly. "They pay us: we don't pay them! I've often 
got as much as five shillings for sending a parcel." 

"But doesn't your Government object?" 

"Well, they do object a little. They say it comes so ex- 
pensive, in the long run. But the thing's as clear as day- 
light, by their own rules. If I send a parcel, that weighs a 
pound more than nothing, I pay three-pence: so, of course, 
if it weighs a pound less than nothing, I ought to receive 

"It is indeed a useful article!" I said. 

"Yet even 'Imponderal' has its disadvantages," he re- 
sumed. "I bought some, a few days ago, and put it into my 
hat, to carry it home, and the hat simply floated away!" 

"Had 00 some of that funny stuff in oor hat today?''' 
Bruno enquired. "Sylvie and me saw 00 in the road, and 
oor hat were ever so high up! Weren't it, Sylvie?" 

6t6 sylvie and bruno concluded 

"No, that was quite another thing," said Mein Herr. 
"There was a drop or two of rain falUng: so I put my hat 
on the top of my stick — as an umbrella, you know. As I 
came along the road," he continued, turning to me, "I 
was overtaken by — " 

" — a shower of rain?" said Bruno. 

"Well, it looked more like the tail of a dog," Mein Herr 
replied. "It was the most curious thing! Something rub- 
bed affectionately against my knee. And I looked down. 
And I could see nothing! Only, about a yard off, there 
was a dog's tail, wagging, all by itself!" 

"Oh, Sylvie!" Bruno murmured reproachfully. "Oo 
didn't finish making him visible!" 

"I'm so sorry!" Sylvie said, looking very penitent. "I 
meant to rub it along his back, but we were in such a 
hurry. We'll go and finish him tomorrow. Poor thing! 
Perhaps he'll get no supper tonight!" 

''Course he won't!" said Bruno. "Nobody never gives 
bones to a dog's tail!" 

Mein Herr looked from one to the other in blank as- 
tonishment. "I do not understand you," he said. "I had 
lost my way, and I was consulting a pocket-map, and 
somehow I had dropped one of my gloves, and this in- 
visible Something, that had rubbed against my knee, ac- 
tually brought it back to me!" 

"Course he did!" said Bruno. "He's welly fond of fetch- 
ing things." 

Mein Herr looked so thoroughly bewildered that I 
thought it best to change the subject. "What a useful thing 
a pocket-map is!" I remarked. 

"That's another thing we've learned from your Nation,'* 
said Mein Herr, "map-making. But we've carried it much 
further than you. What do you consider the largest map 
that would be really useful?" 


"About six inches to the mile." 

"Only six inches!'' exclaimed Mein Herr. "We very 
soon got to six yards to the mile. Then we tried a hundred 
yards to the mile. And then came the grandest idea of all! 
We actually made a map of the country, on the scale of 
a mile to the mile!" 

"Have you used it much?" I enquired. 

"It has never been spread out, yet," said Mein Herr: 
"the farmers objected: they said it would cover the whole 
country, and shut out the sunlight! So we now use the 
country itself, as its own map, and I assure you it does 
nearly as well. Now let me ask you another question. 
What is the smallest world you would care to inhabit?" 

"/ know!" cried Bruno, who was listening intently. "I'd 
like a little teeny-tiny world, just big enough for Sylvie 
and me!" 

"Then you would have to stand on opposite sides of it," 
said Mein Herr. "And so you would never see your sister 
at all!'' 

"And I'd have no lessons^" said Bruno. 

"You don't mean to say you've been trying experiments 
in that direction!" I said. 

"Well, not experiments exactly. We do not profess to 
construct planets. But a scientific friend of mine, who has 
made several balloon-voyages, assures me he has visited a 
planet so small that he could walk right round it in twenty 
minutes! There had been a great battle, just before his 
visit, which had ended rather oddly : the vanquished army 
ran away at full speed, and in a very few minutes found 
themselves face-to-face with the victorious army, who 
were marching home again, and who were so frightened 
at finding themselves between two armies, that they sur- 
rendered at once! Of course that lost them the battle. 


though, as a matter o£ fact, they had killed all the soldiers 
on the other side." 

"Killed soldiers cant run away," Bruno thoughtfully 

" 'Killed' is a technical word," replied Mein Herr. *'In 
the little planet I speak of, the bullets were made of soft 
black stuff, which marked everything it touched. So, after 
a battle, all you had to do was to count how many soldiers 
on each side were 'killed' — that means 'marked on the 
bac\^ for marks in jront didn't count." 

"Then you couldn't 'kill' any, unless they ran away?" I 

"My scientific friend found out a better plan than that. 
He pointed out that, if only the bullets were sent the other 
way round the world, they would hit the enemy in the 
bac\. After that, the worst marksmen were considered 
the best soldiers; and the very worst of all always got First 


"And how did you decide which was the very worst of 

"Easily. The best possible shooting is, you know, to hit 
what is exactly in jront of you: so of course the worst pos- 
sible is to hit what is exactly behind you." 

"They were strange people in that little planet!" I said. 

"They were indeed! Perhaps their method of govern- 
ment was the strangest of all. In this planet, I am told, a 
Nation consists of a number of Subjects, and one King: 
but, in the little planet I speak of, it consisted of a number 
of KingSy and one Subject!'' 

"You say you are 'told' what happens in this planet," I 
said. "May I venture to guess that you yourself are a 
visitor from some other planet?" 

Bruno clapped his hands in his excitement. "Is oo the 
Man-in-the-Moon?" he cried. 


Mein Herr looked uneasy. "I am not in the Moon, my 
child," he said evasively. "To return to w^hat I was say- 
ing. I think that method of government ought to answer 
well. You see, the Kings would be sure to make Laws 
contradicting each other: so the Subject could never be 
punished, because, whatever he did he'd be obeying some 

"And, whatever he did, he'd be ^/Vobeying some Law!" 
cried Bruno. "So he'd always be punished!" 

Lady Muriel was passing at the moment, and caught 
the last word. "Nobody's going to be punished hereT she 
said, taking Bruno in her arms. "This is Liberty-Hall! 
Would you lend me the children for a minute?" 

"The children desert us, you see," I said to Mein Herr, 
as she carried them off: "so we old folk must keep each 
other company!" 

The old man sighed. "Ah, well! We're old folk now; 
and yet I was a child myself, once — at least I fancy so." 

It did seem a rather unlikely fancy, I could not help 
owning to myself — looking at the shaggy white hair, and 
the long beard — that he could ever have been a child. 
"You are fond of young people?" I said. 

"Young vfien^' he replied. "Not of children exactly. I 
used to teach young men — many a year ago — in my dear 
old University!" 

"I didn't quite catch its name?'' I hinted. 

"I did not name it," the old man replied mildly. "Nor 
would you know the name if I did. Strange tales I could 
tell you of all the changes I have witnessed there! But it 
would weary you, I fear." 

"No, indeed!'' I said. "Pray go on. What kind of 

But the old man seemed to be more in a humour for 
questions than for answers. "Tell me," he said, laying his 


hand impressively on my arm, "tell me something. For 
I am a stranger in your land, and I know little of your 
modes of education: yet something tells me we are fur- 
ther on than you in the eternal cycle of change — and 
that many a theory we have tried and found to fail, you 
also will try, with a wilder enthusiasm : you also will find 
to fail, with a bitterer despair!" 

It was strange to see how, as he talked, and his words 
flowed more and more freely, with a certain rhythmic 
eloquence, his features seemed to glow with an inner 
light, and the whole man seemed to be transformed, as 
if he had grown fifty years younger in a moment of time. 

Chapter XII 

The silence that ensued was broken by the voice of the 
musical young lady, who had seated herself near us, and 
was conversing with one of the newly-arrived guests. 
"Well!" she said in a tone of scornful surprise. "We are 
to have something new in the way of music, it appears!" 

I looked round for an explanation, and was nearly as 
much astonished as the speaker herself: it was Syhie 
whom Lady Muriel was leading to the piano! 

"Do try it, my darling!" she was saying. "Fm sure you 
can play very nicely!" 

Sylvie looked round at me, with tears in her eyes. I 
tried to give her an encouraging smile, but it was evi- 
dently a great strain on the nerves of a child so wholly 
unused to be made an exhibition of, and she was fright- 
ened and unhappy. Yet here came out the perfect sweet- 


ness of her disposition: I could see that she was resolved 
to forget herself, and do her best to give pleasure to Lady 
Muriel and her friends. She seated herself at the instru- 
ment, and began instantly. Time and expression, so far 
as one could judge, w^ere perfect: but her touch was one 
of such extraordinary lightness that it was at first scarce- 
ly possible, through the hum of conversation which still 
continued, to catch a note of what she was playing. 

But in a minute the hum had died away into absolute 
silence, and we all sat, entranced and breathless, to listen 
to such heavenly music as none then present could ever 

Hardly touching the notes at first, she played a sort of 
introduction in a minor key — like an embodied twilight; 
one felt as though the lights were growing dim, and a 
mist were creeping through the room. Then there flashed 
through the gathering gloom the first few notes of a 
melody so lovely, so delicate, that one held one's breath, 
fearful to lose a single note of it. Ever and again the 
music dropped into the pathetic minor key with which 
it had begun, and, each time that the melody forced its 
way, so to speak, through the enshrouding gloom into 
the light of day, it was more entrancing, more magically 
sweet. Under the airy touch of the child, the instrument 
actually seemed to warble^ like a bird. "Rise up, my love, 
my fair one'' it seemed to sing, ''and come away! For lo, 
\the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers 
appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is 
comeT One could fancy one heard the tinkle of the last 
few drops, shaken from the trees by a passing gust — that 
one saw the first glittering rays of the sun, breaking 
through the clouds. 

The Count hurried across the room in great excite- 
ment. "I cannot remember myself," he exclaimed, "of 


the name of this so charming an air! It is of an opera^ 
most surely. Yet not even will the opera remind his name 
to me! What you call him, dear child?" 

Sylvie looked round at him with a rapt expression of 
face. She had ceased playing, but her fingers still wan- 
dered fitfully over the keys. All fear and shyness had 
quite passed away now, and nothing remained but the 
pure joy of the music that had thrilled our hearts. 

"The title of it!" the Count repeated impatiently. "How 
call you the opera .f^" 

"I don't know what an opera /V," Sylvie half-whispered. 

"How, then, call you the air?'' 

"I don't know any name for it/' Sylvie replied, as she 
rose from the instrument. 

"But this is marvellous!" exclaimed the Count, follow- 
ing the child, and addressing himself to me, as if I were 
the proprietor of this musical prodigy, and so must know 
the origin of her music. "You have heard her play this, 
sooner — I would say 'before this occasion' ? How call you 
the air?" 

I shook my head; but was saved from more questions 
by Lady Muriel, who came up to petition the Count for 
a song. 

The Count spread out his hands apologetically, and 
ducked his head. "But, Milady, I have already respected 
— I would say prospected — all your songs ; and there shall 
be none fitted to my voice! They are not for basso voices!" 

"Wo'n't you look at them again?" Lady Muriel im- 

"Let's help him!" Bruno whispered to Sylvie. "Let's 
get him — you know!" 

Sylvie nodded. "Shall we look for a song for you?" 
she said sweetly to the Count. 

"Mais ouir the little man exclaimed. 




"Of course we may!" said Bruno, while, each taking 
a hand of the deUghted Count, they led him to the music- 

"There is still hope!" said Lady Muriel over her shoul- 
der, as she followed them. 

I turned to "Mein Herr," hoping to resume our inter- 
rupted conversation. "You were remarking — " I began: 
but at this moment Sylvie came to call Bruno, who had 
returned to my side, looking unusually serious. "Do come, 
Bruno!" she entreated. "You know we've nearly found 
it!" Then, in a whisper, "The locket's in my hand^ now. 
I couldn't get it out while they were looking!" 

But Bruno drew back. "The man called me names," 
he said with dignity. 

What names?" I enquired with some curiosity. 
\ asked him," said Bruno, "which sort of song he liked. 
And he said 'A song o£ a man, not of a lady.' And I said 
'Shall Sylvie and me find you the song of Mister Tottles?' 
And he said 'Wait, eel!' And I'm not an eel, 00 know!" 

"I'm sure he didn't mean it!" Sylvie said earnestly. 
"It's something French — you know he ca'n't talk English 
so well as — " 

Bruno relented visibly. "Course he knows no better, if 
he's Flench! Flenchmen never can speak English so 
goodly as usT And Sylvie led him away, a willing cap- 

"Nice children!" said the old man, taking off his spec- 
tacles and rubbing them carefully. Then he put them on 
again, and watched with an approving smile, while the 
children tossed over the heap of music, and we just 
caught Sylvie's reproving words, "We're not making hay,. 

"This has been a long interruption to our conversa- 
tion," I said. "Pray let us go on!" 


"Willingly!" replied the gentle old man. "I was much 
interested in what you — " He paused a moment, and 
passed his hand uneasily across his brow. "One forgets," 
he murmured. "What was I saying? Oh! Something you 
were to tell me. Yes. Which of your teachers do you value 
the most highly, those whose words are easily under- 
stood, or those who puzzle you at every turn?" 

I felt obliged to admit that we generally admired most 
the teachers we couldn't quite understand. 

"Just so," said Mein Herr. "That's the way it begins. 
Well, we were at that stage some eighty years ago — or 
was it ninety? Our favourite teacher got more obscure 
every year; and every year we admired him more — just 
as your Art-fanciers call mist the fairest feature in a land- 
scape, and admire a view with frantic delight when they 
can see nothing! Now I'll tell you how it ended. It was 
Moral Philosophy that our idol lectured on. Well, his 
pupils couldn't make head or tail of it, but they got it all 
by heart; and, when Examination-time came, they wrote 
it down; and the Examiners said 'Beautiful! What 

"But what good was it to the young men. afterwards?'" 

"Why, don't you see?" replied Mein Herr. ''They be- 
came teachers in their turn, and they said all these things 
over again; and their pupils wrote it all down; and the 
Examiners accepted it; and nobody had the ghost of an\ 
idea what it all meant!" 

"And how did it end?" 

"It ended this way. We woke up one fine day, and 
found there was no one in the place that knew anything 
about Moral Philosophy. So we abolished it, teachers, 
classes, examiners, and all. And if any one wanted to 
learn anything about it, he had to make it out for him- 
self; and after another twenty years or so there were sev- 


eral men that really knew something about it! Now tell 
me another thing. How long do you teach a youth be- 
fore you examine him, in your Universities?" 

I told him, three or four years. 

"Just so, just what we did!" he exclaimed. "We taught 
'em a bit, and, just as they were beginning to take it in, 
we took it all out again! We pumped our wells dry be- 
fore they were a quarter full — we stripped our orchards 
while the apples were still in blossom — we applied the 
severe logic of arithmetic to our chickens, while peace- 
fully slumbering in their shells! Doubtless it's the early 
bird that picks up the worm — but if the bird gets up so 
outrageously early that the worm is still deep under- 
ground, what then is its chance of a breakfast?" 

Not much, I admitted. 

"Now see how that works!" he went on eagerly. "If 
you want to pump your wells so soon — and I suppose you 
tell me that is what you must do?" 

"We must," I said. "In an over-crowded country like 
this, nothing but Competitive Examinations — " 

Mein Herr threw up his hands wildly. "What, again?'^ 
he cried. "I thought it was dead, fifty years ago! Oh this 
Upas tree of Competitive Examinations! Beneath whose 
deadly shade all the original genius, all the exhaustive 
research, all the untiring life-long diligence by which our 
fore-fathers have so advanced human knowledge, must 
slowly but surely wither away, and give place to a sys- 
tem of Cookery, in which the human mind is a sausage, 
and all we ask is, how much indigestible stuff can be 
crammed into it!" 

Always, after these bursts of eloquence, he seemed to 
forget himself for a moment, and only to hold on to the 
thread of thought by some single word. "Yes, crammed^'' 
he repeated. "We went through all that stage of the dis- 


ease — had it bad, I warrant you! Of course, as the Exam- 
ination was all in all, we tried to put in just what was 
wanted — and the great thing to aim at was, that the 
Candidate should know absolutely nothing beyond the 
needs of the Examination! I don't say it was ever quite 
achieved: but one of my own pupils (pardon an old 
man's egotism) came very near it. After the Examination, 
he mentioned to me the few facts which he knew but had 
not been able to bring in, and I can assure you they Were 
trivial. Sir, absolutely trivial!" 

I feebly expressed my surprise and delight. 

The old man bowed, with a gratified smile, and pro- 
ceeded. "At that time, no one had hit on the much more 
rational plan of watching for the individual scintillations 
of genius, and rewarding them as they occurred. As it 
was, we made our unfortunate pupil into a Ley den-jar, 
charged him up to the eyelids — then applied the knob of 
a Competitive Examination, and drew oflf one magnifi- 
cent spark, which very often cracked the jar! What mat- 
tered that? We labeled it Tirst Class Spark,' and put it 
away on the shelf." 

"But the more rational system — ?" I suggested. 

"Ah, yes! that came next. Instead of giving the whole 
reward of learning in one lump, we used to pay for ever y 
good answer as it occurred. How well I remember lec- 
turing in those days, with a heap of small coins at my 
elbow! It was *A very good answer, Mr. Jones!' (that 
meant a shilling, mostly). 'Bravo, Mr. Robinson!' (that 
meant half -a-cr own). Now I'll tell you how that worked. 
Not one single fact would any of them take in, v/ithout 
a fee! And when a clever boy came up from school, he 
got paid more for learning than we got paid for teach- 
ing him! Then came the wildest craze of all." 

"What, another craze?" I said. 


"It's the last one," said the old man. "I must have tired 
you out with my long story. Each College wanted to get 
the clever boys: so we adopted a system which we had 
heard was very popular in England: the Colleges com- 
peted against each other, and the boys let themselves out 
to the highest bidder! What geese we were! Why, they 
were bound to come to the University somehow. We 
needn't have paid 'em! And all our money went in get- 
ting clever boys to come to one College rather than an- 
other! The competition was so keen, that at last mere 
money-payments were not enough. Any College, that 
wished to secure some specially clever young man, had 
to waylay him at the Station, and hunt him through the 
streets. The first who touched him was allowed to have 

"That hunting-down of the scholars, as they arrived, 
must have been a curious business," I said. "Could you 
give me some idea of what it was like?" 

"Willingly!" said the old man. "I will describe to you 
the very last Hunt that took plaK:e, before that form of 
Sport (for it was actually reckoned among the Sports of 
the day: we called it 'Cub-Hunting') was finally aban- 
doned. I witnessed it myself, as I happened to be passing 
by at the moment, and was what we called *in at the 
death.' I can see it now!" he went on in an excited tone, 
gazing into vacancy with those large dreamy eyes of his. 
"It seems like yesterday; and yet it happened — " He 
checked himself hastily, and the remaining words died 
away into a whisper. 

''How many years ago did you say?" I asked, much 
interested in the prospect of at last learning some definite 
fact in his history. 

"Many years ago," he replied. "The scene at the Rail- 
way-Station had been (so they told me) one of wild 


excitement. Eight or nine Heads of Colleges had as- 
sembled at the gates (no one was allowed inside), and 
the Station-Master had drawn a line on the pavement, 
and insisted on their all standing behind it. The gates 
were flung open! The young man darted through them, 
and fled like lightning down the street, while the Heads 
of Colleges actually yelled with excitement on catching 
sight of him! The Proctor gave the word, in the old 
statutory form, 'Semel! Bis! Ter! Currite!\ and the Hunt 
began! Oh, it was a fine sight, believe me! At the first 
corner he dropped his Greek Lexicon: further on, his 
railway-rug: then various small articles: then his um- 
brella: lastly, what I suppose he prized most, his hand- 
bag: but the game was up: the spherical Principal of — 

"Of which College?" I said. 

" — of one of the Colleges," he resumed, "had put into 
operation the Theory — his own discovery — of Accelerated 
Velocity, and captured him just opposite to where I 
stood. I shall never forget that wild breathless struggle! 
But it was soon over. Once in those great bony hands, 
escape was impossible!" 

"May I ask why you speak of him as the 'sphericaV 
Principal.^" I said. 

"The epithet referred to his shape^ which was a perfect 
sphere. You are aware that a bullet, another instance of 
a perfect sphere, when falling in a perfectly straight line, 
moves with Accelerated Velocity?" 

I bowed assent. 

"Well, my spherical friend (as I am proud to call him) 
set himself to investigate the causes of this. He found 
them to be three. One; that it is a perfect sphere. Two; 
that it moves in a straight line. Three; that its direction 


is not upwards. When these three conditions are fulfilled, 
you get Accelerated Velocity." 

"Hardly," I said: "if you will excuse my differing from 
you. Suppose we apply the theory to horizontal motion. 
If a bullet is fired horizontally^ it — " 

" — it does not move in a straight line^' he quietly fin- 
ished mv sentence for me. 

"I yield the point," I said. "What did your friend do 

"The next thing was to apply the theory, as you rightly 
suggest, to horizontal motion. But the moving body, ever 
tending to jall^ needs constant support^ if it is to move 
in a true horizontal line. 'What, then,' he asked himself, 
'will give constant support to a moving body?' And his 
answer was 'Human legs!' That was the discovery that 
immortalised his name!" 

"His name being — ?" I suggested. 

"I had not mentioned it," was the gentle reply of my 
most unsatisfactory informant. "His next step was an 
obvious one. He took to a diet of suet-dumplings, until 
his body had become a perfect sphere. Then he went out 
for his first experimental run — which nearly cost him his 

"How was that?'' 

"Well, you see, he had no idea of the tremendous new 
Force in Nature that he was calling into play. He began 
too fast. In a very few minutes he found himself moving 
at a hundred miles an hour! And, if he had not had 
the presence of mind to charge into the middle of a hay- 
stack (which he scattered to the four winds) there can be 
no doubt that he would have left the Planet he belonged 
to, and gone right away into Space!" 

"And how came that to be the last of the Cub-Hunts?"' 
I enquired. 


"Well, you see, it led to a rather scandalous dispute 
between two o£ the Colleges. Afiother Principal had laid 
his hand on the young man, so nearly at the same mo- 
ment as the spherical one, that there was no knowing 
which had touched him first. The dispute got into print, 
and did us no credit, and, in short, Cub-Hunts came to 
an end. Now I'll tell you what cured us of that wild 
craze of ours, the bidding against each other, for the 
clever scholars, just as if they were articles to be sold by 
auction! Just when the craze had reached its highest 
point, and when one of the Colleges had actually adver- 
tised a Scholarship of one thousand pounds per annum, 
one of our tourists brought us the manuscript of an old 
African legend — I happen to have a copy of it in my 
pocket. Shall I translate it for you?" 

"Pray go on," I said, though I felt I was getting very 

Chapter XIII 

What Tottles Meant 

Mein Herr unrolled the manuscript, but, to my great 
surprise, instead of reading it, he began to sing it, in a 
rich mellow voice that seemed to ring through the room. 

"One thousand pounds per annuum 

Is not so bad a figure, cornel" 

Cried Tottles. "And 1 tell you, flat, 

A man may marry ivell on that! 

To say 'the Husband needs the Wife' 

Is not the tvay to represent it. 

The crotvning joy of Woman's life 

Is Man!" said Tottles {and he meant it). 


The blissful Honey-moon is past: 

The Pair have settled down at last: 

Mamma-in-law their home will share, 

And make their happiness her care. 

"Your income is an ample one: 

Go it, my childrenl" {And they went it). 

7 rayther thin\ this \ind of fun 

Wont lastl" said Tottles {and he meant it). 

They too\ a little country-box — 

A box at Co vent Garden also: 

They lived a life of double-\noc\s , 

Acquaintances began to call so: 

Their London house was much the same 

{It too\ three hundred, clear, to rent it)'. 

"Life is a very jolly game!'' 

Cried happy Tottles {and he meant it). 

"Contented with a frugal lot" 

{He always used that phrase at Gunter s) , 

He bought a handy little yacht — 

A dozen serviceable hunters — 

The fishing of a Highland Loch — 

A sailing-boat to circumvent it — 

"The sounding of that Gaelic 'ocK 

Beats me!" said Tottles {and he meant it). 

Here, with one o£ those convulsive starts that wake 
one up in the very act of dropping oflE to sleep, I became 
conscious that the deep musical tones that thrilled me 
did not belong to Mein Herr, but to the French Count. 
The old man was still conning the manuscript. 

"I beg your pardon for keeping you waiting!" he said. 
"I was just making sure that I knew the English for all 
the words. I am quite ready now." And he read me the 
following Legend: — 


"In a city that stands in the very centre of Africa, and 
is rarely visited by the casual tourist, the people had al- 
ways bought eggs — a daily necessary in a climate where 
egg-flip was the usual diet — from a Merchant who came 
to their gates once a week. And the people always bid 
wildly against each other: so there was quite a lively 
auction every time the Merchant came, and the last tgg 
in his basket used to fetch the value of two or three 
camels, or thereabouts. And eggs got dearer every week. 
And still they drank their egg-flip, and wondered where 
all their money went to. 

"And there came a day when they put their heads to- 
gether. And they understood what donkeys they had 

"And next day, when the Merchant came, only one 
Man went forth. And he said *Oh, thou of the hook-nose 
and the goggle-eyes, thou of the measureless beard, how 
much for that lot of eggs?' 

"And the Merchant answered him 'I could let thee have 
that lot at ten thousand piastres the dozen.' 

"And the Man chuckled inwardly, and said 'Ten 
piastres the dozen I offer thee, and no more, oh de- 
scendant of a distinguished grandfather!' 

"And the Merchant stroked his beard, and said 'Hum! 
I will await the coming of thy friends.' So he waited. 
And the Man waited with him. And they waited both 

"The manuscript breaks off here," said Mein Herr, as 
he rolled it up again; "but it was enough to open our 
eyes. We saw what simpletons we had been — buying our 
Scholars much as those ignorant savages bought their 
eggs — and the ruinous system was abandoned. If only we 
could have abandoned, along with it, all the other fash- 
ions we had borrowed from you, instead of carrying them 


to their logical results! But it was not to be. What ruined 
my country, and drove me from my home, was the in- 
troduction — into the Army, o£ all places — of your theory 
of Political Dichotomy!" 

"Shall I trouble you too much," I said, "if I ask you 
to explain what you mean by 'the Theory of Political 

"No trouble at all!" was Mein Herr's most courteous 
reply. "I quite enjoy talking, when I get so good a listener. 
What started the thing, with us, was the report brought 
to us, by one of our most eminent statesmen, who had 
stayed some time in England, of the way affairs were 
managed there. It was a pohtical necessity (so he assured 
us, and we believed him, though we had never discovered 
it till that moment) that there should be two Parties, in 
every affair and on every subject. In Politics, the two 
Parties, which you had found it necessary to institute, 
were called, he told us, 'Whigs' and 'Tories'." 

"That must have been some time ago?" I remarked. 

"It was some time ago," he admitted. "And this was 
the way the affairs of the British Nation were managed. 
(You will correct me if I misrepresent it. I do but repeat 
what our traveler told us.) These two Parties — which 
were in chronic hostility to each other — took turns in 
conducting the Government; and the Party, that hap- 
pened not to be in power, was called the 'Opposition', I 

"That is the right name," I said. "There have always 
been, so long as we have had a Parliament at all, two 
Parties, one 'in', and one 'out'." 

"Well, the function of the 'Ins' (if I may so call them) 
was to do the best they could for the national welfare — 
in such things as making war or peace, commercial 
treaties, and so forth?" 


"Undoubtedly," I said. 

"And the function of the 'Outs' was (so our traveler 
assured us, though we were very incredulous at first) to 
prevent the 'Ins' from succeeding in any of these things?" 

"To criticize and to amend their proceedings," I cor- 
rected him. "It would be unpatriotic to hinder the Gov- 
ernment in doing what was for the good of the Nation! 
We have always held a Patriot to be the greatest of 
heroes, and an unpatriotic spirit to be one of the worst 
of human ills!" 

"Excuse me for a moment," the old gentleman courte- 
ously replied, taking out his pocket-book. "I have a few 
memoranda here, of a correspondence I had with our 
tourist, and, if you will allow me, I'll just refresh my 
memory — although I quite agree with you — it is, as you 
say, one of the worst of human ills — " And, here Mein 
Herr began singing again : — 

But oh, the worst of human ills 
{Poor Pottles found) are "little bills"! 
And, with no balance in the Ban\, 
What wonder that his spirits san\? 
Still, as the money flowed away. 
He wondered how on earth she spent it, 
"You cost me twenty pounds a day. 
At least!" cried Pottles {and he meant it). 

She sighed. "Phose Drawing Rooms, you \nowl 

I really never thought about it: 

Mamma declared we ought to go — 

We should be Nobodies without it. 

Phat diamond-circlet for my brow — 

/ quite believed that she had sent it. 

Until the Bill came in just now — " 

"Viper!" cried Pottles {and he meant it). 


Poor Mrs. T. could bear no more, 
But fainted flat upon the floor. 
Mamma-in-law , with anguish wild, 
See\s, all in vain, to rouse her child. 
"Quic}{\ 'Ta\e this box of smelling-salts! 
Don't scold her, James, or you II repent it, 
She's a dear girl, with all her faults — " 
"She is!" groaned Tottles {and he meant it). 

'7 was a don\ey," Tottles cried, 

''To choose your daughter for my bride! 

'Twas you that bid us cut a dash! 

'Tis you have brought us to this smash! 

You don't suggest one single thing 

That can in any way prevent it — " 

''Then what's the use of arguing?" 

Shut up!" cried Tottles (and he meant it). 

Once more I started into wakefulness, and realised that 
Mein Herr was not the singer. He was still consulting 
his memoranda. 

"It is exactly what my friend told me," he resumed, 
after conning over various papers. " 'Unpatriotic is the , 
very word I had used, in writing to him, and 'hinder is 
the very word he used in his reply! Allow me to read 
you a portion of his letter: — 

ti t\ 

7 can assure you,' he writes, 'that, unpatriotic as you may 
thin\ it, the recognised function of the 'Opposition' is to. 
hinder in every manner not forbidden by the Law, the 
action of the Government. This process is called 'Legitimate 
Obstruction': and the greatest triumph the 'Opposition' can 
ever enjoy, ts when they are able to point out that, owing to 
their 'Obstruction , the Government have failed in every- 
thing they have tried to do for the good of the Nation!' " 


"Your friend has not put it quite correctly," I said. 
"The Opposition would no doubt be glad to point out 
that the Government had failed through their own fault; 
but not that they had failed on account of Obstruction T 

"You think so?" he gently replied. "Allow me now to 
read to you this newspaper-cutting, which my friend en- 
closed in his letter. It is part of the report of a public 
speech, made by a Statesman who was at the time a 
member of the 'Opposition': — 

if I 

'At the close of the Session, he thought they had no' 
reason to be discontented with the fortunes of the campaign. 
They had routed the enemy at every point. But the pursuit 
must be continued. They had only to follow up a disordered 
and dispirited foe! 

> >f 

"Now to what portion of your national history would 
you guess that the speaker was referring?" 

"Really, the number of successful wars we have waged 
during the last century," I replied, with a glow of British 
pride, "is far too great for me to guess, with any chance 
of success, which it was we were then engaged in. How- 
ever, I will name 'India as the most probable. The 
Mutiny was no doubt, all but crushed, at the time that 
speech was made. What a fine, manly, patriotic speech 
it must have been!" I exclaimed in an outburst of en- 

"You think so?" he replied, in a tone of gentle pity. 
"Yet my friend tells me that the 'disordered and dispirit- 
ed foe' simply meant the Statesmen who happened to be 
in power at the moment; that the 'pursuit' simply meant 
'Obstruction'; and that the words 'they had routed the 
enemy simply meant that the 'Opposition' had succeeded 
in hindering the Government from doing any of the work 
which the Nation had empowered them to do!" 


I thought it best to say nothing. 

"It seemed queer to us, just at first," he resumed, after 
courteously waiting a minute for me to speak : "but, when 
once we had mastered the idea, our respect for your Na- 
tion was so great that we carried it into every department 
of Hfe! It was 'the beginning of the end' with us. My 
country never held up its head again!" And the poor old 
gentleman sighed deeply. 

"Let us change the subject," I said. "Do not distress 
yourself, I beg!" 

"No, no!" he said, with an effort to recover himself. 
"I had rather finish my story! The next step (after re- 
ducing our Government to impotence, and putting a stop 
to all useful legislation, which did not take us long to 
do) was to introduce what we called 'the glorious British 
Principle of Dichotomy' into Agriculture, We persuaded 
many of the well-to-do farmers to divide their staff of 
labourers into two Parties, and to set them one against 
the other. They were called, like our political Parties, the 
'Ins' and the 'Outs': the business of the 'Ins' was to do 
as much of ploughing, sowing, or whatever might be 
needed, as they could manage in a day, and at night they 
were paid according to the amount they had done: the 
business of the 'Outs' was to hinder them, and they were 
paid for the amount they had hindered. The farmers 
found they had to pay only half as much wages as they 
did before, and they didn't observe that the amount of 
work done was only a quarter as much as was done be- 
fore : so they took it up quite enthusiastically, at first'' 

"And afterwards — ?" I enquired. 

"Well, afterwards they didn't like it quite so well. In 
a very short time, things settled down into a regular 
routine. No work at all was done. So the 'Ins' got no 
wages, and the 'Outs' got full pay. And the farmers never 


discovered, till most of them were ruined, that the rascals 
had agreed to manage it so, and had shared the pay be- 
tween them! While the thing lasted, there were funny 
sights to be seen! Why, Fve often watched a ploughman, 
with two horses harnessed to the plough, doing his best 
to get it forwards; while the opposition-ploughman, with 
three donkeys harnessed at the other end, was doing his 
best to get it backwards! And the plough never moving 
an inch, either way!" 

"But we never did anything like that!'' I exclaimed. 

"Simply because you were less logical than we were," 
replied Mein Herr. "There is sometimes an advantage in 
being a donk — Excuse me! No personal allusion intended. 
All this happened long agOy you know!" 

"Did the Dichotomy-Principle succeed in any direc- 
tion .f^" I enquired. 

"In none^'' Mein Herr candidly confessed. "It had a 
very short trial in Commerce. The shop-keepers wouldn't 
take it up, after once trying the plan of having half the 
attendants busy in folding up and carrying away the 
goods which the other half were trying to spread out up- 
on the counters. They said the Public didn't like it!" 

"I don't wonder at it," I remarked. 

"Well, we tried 'the British Principle' for some years. 
And the end of it all was — " His voice suddenly dropped, 
almost to a whisper; and large tears began to roll down 
his cheeks. " — the end was that we got involved in a 
war; and there was a great battle, in which we far out- 
numbered the enemy. But what could one expect, when 
only half of our soldiers were fighting, and the other half 
pulling them back? It ended in a crushing defeat — an 
utter rout. This caused a Revolution; and most of the 
Government were banished. I myself was accused of 
Treason, for having so strongly advocated *the British 


Principle.' My property was all forfeited, and — and — I 
was driven into exile! 'Now the mischief's done,' they 
said, 'perhaps you'll kindly leave the country?' It nearly 
broke my heart, but I had to go!" 

The melancholy tone became a wail: the wail became 
a chant: the chant became a song — though whether it 
was Mein Herr that was singing, this time, or somebody 
else, I could not feel certain. 

"And, now the mischiefs done, perhaps 
You'll \indly go and pac\ your traps? 
Since two {your daughter and your son) 
Are Company, but three are none, 
A course of saving we'll begin: 
When change is needed, I'll invent it: 
Don't thin\ to put your finger in 
This piel" cried Tottles {and he meant it) 

The music seemed to die away. Mein Herr was again 
speaking in his ordinary voice. "Now tell me one thing 
more," he said. "Am I right in thinking that in your 
Universities, though a man may reside some thirty or 
forty years, you examine him, once for all, at the end of 
the first three or four?" 

"That is so, undoubtedly," I admitted. 

"Practically, then, you examine a man at the beginning 
of his career!" the old man said to himself rather than 
to me. "And what guarantee have you that he retains the 
knowledge for which you have rewarded him — before- 
hand, as tve should say?" 

"None," I admitted, feeling a little puzzled at the drift 
of his remarks. "How do you secure that object?" 

"By examining him at the end of his thirty or forty 
years — not at the beginning," he gently replied. "On an 
average, the knowledge then found is about one-fifth of 


what it was at first — the process of forgetting going on 
at a very steady uniform rate — and he, who forgets least, 
gets most honour, and most rewards." 

"Then you give him the money when he needs it no 
longer? And you make him hve most of his hfe on 

"Hardly that. He gives his orders to the tradesmen: 
they supply him, for forty, sometimes fifty years, at their 
own risk: then he gets his Fellowship — which pays him 
in one year as much as your Fellowships pay in fifty — 
and then he can easily pay all his bills, with interest." 

"But suppose he fails to get his Fello wship .^^ That must 
occasionally happen." 

"That occasionally happens." It was Mein Herr's turn, 
now, to make admissions. 

"And what becomes of the tradesmen.^" 

"They calculate accordingly. When a man appears to be 
getting alarmingly ignorant, or stupid, they will some- 
times refuse to supply him any longer. You have no idea 
with what enthusiasm a man will begin to rub up his 
forgotten sciences or languages, when his butcher has cut 
oflf the supply of beef and mutton!" 

"And who are the Examiners?" 

"The young men who have just come, brimming over 
with knowledge. You would think it a curious sight," he 
went on, "to see mere boys examining such old men. I 
have known a man set to examine his own grandfather. 
It was a little painful for both of them, no doubt. The 
old gentleman was as bald as a coot — " 

"How bald would that be?" I've no idea why I asked 
this question. I felt I was getting foolish. 

Chapter XIV 
Bruno's Picnic 

*'As bald as bald," was the bewildering reply. "Now, 
Bruno, I'll tell you a story." 

"And ril tell oo a story," said Bruno, beginning in a 
great hurry for fear of Sylvie getting the start of him: 
"once there were a Mouse — a little tiny Mouse — such a 
tiny little Mouse! Oo never saw such a tiny Mouse — " 

"Did nothing ever happen to it, Bruno?" I asked. 
"Haven't you anything more to tell us, besides its being 
so tiny?" 

"Nothing never happened to it," Bruno solemnly re- 

"Why did nothing never happen to it?" said Sylvie, 
who was sitting, with her head on Bruno's shoulder, 
patiently waiting for a chance of beginning her story. 

"It were too tiny," Bruno explained. 

''That's no reason!" I said. "However tiny it was, things 
might happen to it." 

Bruno looked pityingly at me, as if he thought me very 
stupid. "It were too tiny," he repeated. "If anything hap- 
pened to it, it would die — it were so very tiny!" 

"Really that's enough about its being tiny!" Sylvie put 
in. "Haven't you invented any more about it?" 

'Haven't invented no more yet." 

'Well, then, you shouldn't begin a story till you've in- 
vented more! Now be quiet, there's a good boy, and listen 
to my story." 

And Bruno, having quite exhausted all his inventive 
faculty, by beginning in too great a hurry, quietly re- 
signed himself to Hstening. "Tell about the other Bruno, 
please," he said coaxingly, 





Sylvie put her arms round his neck, and began: — 

"The wind was whispering among the trees," ("That 
wasn't good manners!" Bruno interrupted. "Never mind 
about manners," said Sylvie) "and it was evening — a nice 
moony evening, and the Owls were hooting — " 

"Pretend they weren't Owls!" Bruno pleaded, stroking 
her cheek with his fat little hand. "I don't like Owls. 
Owls have such great big eyes. Pretend they were 

"Are you afraid of their great big eyes, Bruno?" I said. 

"Aren't 'fraid of nothing," Bruno answered in as care- 
less a tone as he could manage: "they're ugly with their 
great big eyes. I think if they cried, the tears v/ould be 
as big — oh, as big as the moon!" And he laughed merrily. 
"Doos Owls cry ever, Mister Sir?" 

"Owls cry never," I said gravely, trying to copy Bruno's 
way of speaking: "they've got nothing to be sorry for, 
you know." 

"Oh, but they have!" Bruno exclaimed. "They're ever 
so sorry, 'cause they killed the poor little Mouses!" 

"But they're not sorry when they're hungry^ I suppose?" 

"Oo don't know nothing about Owls!" Bruno scorn- 
fully remarked. "When they're hungry, they're very, very 
sorry they killed the little Mouses, 'cause if they hadn't 
killed them there'd be sumfin for supper, 00 know!" 

Bruno was evidently getting into a dangerously inven- 
tive state of mind, so Sylvie broke in with "Now I'm go- 
ing on with the story. So the Owls — the Chickens, I mean 
— were looking to see if they could find a nice fat Mouse 
for their supper — " 

"Pretend it was a nice 'abbit!" said Bruno. 

"But it wasn't a nice habit, to kill Mouses," Sylvie 
argued. "I can't pretend that!'' 

Bruno's picnic 643 

"I didn't say 'habit^ 00 silly fellow!" Bruno replied 
with a merry twinkle in his eye. " 'abbits — that runs about 
in the fields!" 

"Rabbit? Well it can be a Rabbit, if you like. But you 
mustn't alter my story so much, Bruno. A Chicken 
couldn't eat a Rabbit!" 

"But it might have wished to see if it could try to eat it." 

"Well, it wished to see if it could try — oh, really, Bruno, 
that's nonsense! I shall go back to the Owls." 

"Well then, pretend they hadn't great eyes!" 

"And they saw a little Boy," Sylvie went on, disdaining 
to make any further corrections. "And he asked them to 
tell him a story. And the Owls hooted and flew away — " 
("Oo shouldn't say 'fiewedf 00 should say 'flied,' " Bruno 
whispered. But Sylvie wouldn't hear.) "And he met a 
Lion. And he asked the Lion to tell him a story. And the 
Lion said 'yes,' it would. And, while the Lion was telling 
him the story, it nibbled some of his head off — " 

"Don't say 'nibbled'!" Bruno entreated. "Only little 
things nibble — little thin sharp things, with edges — " 

"Well then, it 'nubbled^' " said Sylvie. "And when it had 
nubbled all his head off, he went away, and he never said 
'thank you'!" 

"That were very rude," said Bruno. "If he couldn't 
speak, he might have nodded — no, he couldn't nod. Well, 
he might have shaked hands with the Lion!" 

"Oh, I'd forgotten that part!" said Sylvie. "He did shake 
hands with it. He came back again, you know, and he 
thanked the Lion very much, for telling him the story." 

"Then his head had growed up again?" said Bruno. 

"Oh yes, it grew up in a minute. And the Lion begged 
pardon, and said it wouldn't nubble off little boys' heads 
— not never no more!" 


Bruno looked much pleased at this change of events. 
"Now that are a really nice story!" he said. ''Arent it a 
nice story, Mister Sir?" 

"Very," I said. "I would like to hear another story 
about that Boy." 

"So would /," said Bruno, stroking Sylvie's cheek again. 
''Please tell about Bruno's Picnic; and don't talk about 
nubbly Lions!" 

"I won't, if it frightens you," said Sylvie. 

''Flightens me!" Bruno exclaimed indignantly. "It isn't 
that! It's 'cause 'nubbly' 's such a grumbly word to say — 
when one person's got her head on another person's shoul- 
der. When she talks like that," he exclaimed to me, "the 
talking goes down bofe sides of my face — all the way to 
my chin — and it doos tickle so! It's enough to make a 
beard grow, that it is!" 

He said this was great severity, but it was evidently 
meant for a joke: so Sylvie laughed — a delicious musical 
little laugh, and laid her soft cheek on the top of her 
brother's curly head, as if it were a pillow, while she went 
on with the story. "So this Boy — " 

"But it wasn't me^ 00 know!" Bruno interrupted. "And 
00 needn't try to look as if it was, Mister Sir!" 

I represented, respectfully, that I was trying to look as 
if it wasn't. 

" — he was a middling good Boy — " 

"He were a welly good Boy!" Bruno corrected her, 
"And he never did nothing he wasn't told to do — " 

''That doesn't make a good Boy!" Sylvie said con- 

"That do make a good Boy!" Bruno insisted. 

Sylvie gave up the point. "Well, he was a very good 
Boy, and he always kept his promises, and he had a big 
cupboard — " 

Bruno's picnic 645 

" — for to keep all his promises in!" cried Bruno. 

"If he kept all his promises," Sylvie said, with a mis- 
chievous look in her eyes, "he wasn't like some Boys I 
know of!" 

"He had to put salt with them, a-course," Bruno said 
gravely: "00 ca'n't keep promises when there isn't any 
salt. And he kept his birthday on the second shelf." 

"How long did he keep his birthday?" I asked. "I 
never can keep mine more than twenty-four hours." 

"Why, a birthday stays that long by itself!" cried Bruno. 
"Oo doosn't know how to keep birthdays! This Boy kept 
his a whole year!" 

"And then the next birthday would begin," said Sylvie. 
"So it would be his birthday always^ 

"So it were," said Bruno. "Doos 00 have treats on oor 
birthday, Mister Sir.?" 

"Sometimes," I said. 
When oo're goody I suppose?" 
Why, it is a sort of treat, being good, isn't it?" I said. 

"A sort of treat!'' Bruno repeated. "It's a sort of punish- 
ment, I think!" 
» "Oh, Bruno!" Sylvie interrupted, almost sadly. "How 
can you?" 

"Well, but it /V," Bruno persisted. "Why, look here, 
Mister Sir! This is being good!" And he sat bolt upright, 
and put on an absurdly solemn face. "First 00 must sit 
up as straight as pokers — " 

— as a poker," Sylvie corrected him. 
— as straight as pokers,' Bruno firmly repeated. "Then 
00 must clasp oor hands — so. Then — 'Why hasn't 00 
brushed oor hair? Go and brush it torec\ly!' Then — 'Oh, 
Bruno, 00 mustn't dog's-ear the daisies!' Did 00 learn oor 
spelling wiz daisies. Mister Sir?" 

"I want to hear about that Boy's Birthday," I said. 






Bruno returned to the story instantly. "Well, so this 
Boy said 'Now it's my Birthday!' And so — I'm tired!" he 
suddenly broke of?, laying his head in Sylvie's lap. "Sylvie 
knows it best. Sylvie's grown-upper than me. Go on, 

Sylvie patiently took up the thread of the story again. 
"So he said 'Now it's my Birthday. Whatever shall I do 
to keep my Birthday? All good little Boys — " (Sylvie 
turned away from Bruno, and made a great pretence of 
whispering to me) " — all good little Boys — Boys that 
learn their lessons quite perfect — they always keep their 
birthdays, you know. So of course this little Boy kept his 

"Oo may call him Bruno, if 00 like," the little fellow 
carelessly remarked. "It weren't me^ but it makes it more 

"So Bruno said to himself 'The properest thing to do 
is to have a Picnic, all by myself, on the top of the hill. 
And I'll take some Milk, and some Bread, and some 
Apples: and first and foremost, I want some M//^/' So, 
first and foremost, Bruno took a milk-pail — " 

"And he went and milkted the Cow!" Bruno put in. 

"Yes," said Sylvie, meekly accepting the new verb. 
"And the Cow said 'Moo! What are you going to do with 
all that Milk?' And Bruno said 'Please'm, I want it for 
my Picnic' And the Cow said 'Moo! But I hope you 
wo'n't boil anv of it?' And Bruno said 'No, indeed I 
wo'n't! New Milk's so nice and so warm, it wants no 
boiling!' " 

"It doesn't want no boiling," Bruno offered as an 
amended version. 

"So Bruno put the Milk in a bottle. And then Bruno 
said 'Now I want some Bread!' So he went to the Oven, 

Bruno's picnic 647 

and he took out a delicious new Loaf. And the Oven — " 

" — ever so Hght and so puffy!" Bruno impatiently cor- 
rected her. "Oo shouldn't leave out so many vs^ords!" 

Sylvie humbly apologised. " — a delicious new Loaf, 
ever so light and so puffy. And the Oven said — " Here 
Sylvie made a long pause. "Really I don't know what an 
Oven begins with, when it wants to speak!" 

Both children looked appealingly at me; but I could 
only say, helplessly^ "I haven't the least idea! / never 
heard an Oven speak!" 

For a minute or two we all sat silent; and then Bruno 
said, very softly, "Oven begins wiz 'O'." 

''Good little boy!" Sylvie exclaimed. "He does his spell- 
ing very nicely. Hes cleverer than he kjiowsT she added, 
aside, to me. "So the Oven said 'O! What are you going 
to do with all that Bread?' And Bruno said Tlease — '• 
Is an Oven *Sir' or ' 'm,' would you say?" She looked to 
me for a reply. 

"5o//?, I think," seemed to me the safest thing to say. 

Sylvie adopted the suggestion instantly. "So Bruno said 
Tlease, Sirm, I want it for my Picnic' And the Oven 
said 'O! But I hope you wo'n't toast any of it?' And 
Bruno said, 'No, indeed I wo'n't! New Bread's so light 
and so puffy, it wants no toasting!' " 

"It never doesn't want no toasting," said Bruno. "I 
wiss 00 wouldn't say it so short!" 

"So Bruno put the Bread in the hamper. Then Bruno 
said 'Now I want some Apples!' So he took the hamper, 
and he went to the Apple-Tree, and he picked some 
lovely ripe Apples. And the Apple-Tree said" — Here 
followed another long pause. 

Bruno adopted his favourite expedient of tapping his 
forehead; while Sylvie gazed earnestly upwards, as if she 


hoped for some suggestion from the birds, who were 
singing merrily among the branches overhead. But no 
result followed. 

"What does an Apple-Tree begin with, when it wants 
to speak?" Sylvie murmured despairingly, to the irre- 
sponsive birds. 

At last, taking a leaf out of Bruno's book, I ventured 
on a remark. "Doesn't *Apple-Tree' always begin with 

"Why, of course it does! How clever of you!" Sylvie 
cried delightedly. 

Bruno jumped up, and patted me on the head. I tried 
not to feel conceited. 

"So the Apple-Tree said 'Eh! What are you going to 
do with all those Apples?' And Bruno said Tlease, Sir, I 
want them for my Picnic' And the Apple-Tree said 'Eh! 
But I hope you wo'n't ba^e any of them?' And Bruno 
said 'No, indeed I wo'n't! Ripe Apples are so nice and 
so sweet, they want no baking!' " 

"They never doesn't — " Bruno was beginning, but 
Sylvie corrected herself before he could get the words out. 

" 'They never doesn't nohow want no baking.' So 
Bruno put the Apples in the hamper, along with the 
Bread, and the bottle of Milk. And he set off to have a 
Picnic, on the top of the hill, all by himself — " 

"He wasn't greedy, 00 know, to have it all by himself," 
Bruno said, patting me on the cheek to call my atten- 
tion; "'cause he hadn't got no brothers and sisters." 

"It was very sad to have no sisters ^ wasn't it?" I said. 

"Well, I don't know," Bruno said thoughtfully; " 'cause 
he hadn't no lessons to do. So he didn't mind." 

Sylvie went on. "So, as he was walking along the road, 
he heard behind him such a curious sort of noise — a sort 
of a Thump! Thump! Thump! 'Whatever is that?' said 

Bruno's picnic 649 

Bruno. 'Oh, I know!' said Bruno. 'Why, it's only my 
Watch a-ticking!' " 

''Were it his Watch a-ticking?" Bruno asked me, with 
eyes that fairly sparkled with mischievous delight. 

"No doubt of it!" I replied. And Bruno laughed exult- 

"Then Bruno thought a little harder. And he said 
*No! it cant be my Watch a-ticking; because I haven't 
^o^ a Watch!'" 

Bruno peered up anxiously into my face, to see how I 
took it. I hung my head, and put a thumb into my 
mouth, to the evident delight of the little fellow. 

"So Bruno went a little further along the road. And 
then he heard it again, that queer noise — Thump! 
Thump! Thump! 'Whatever is that?' said Bruno. 'Oh, I 
know!' said Bruno. 'Why, it's only the Carpenter a-mend- 
ing my Wheelbarrow!' " 

"Were it the Carpenter a-mending his Wheelbarrow?" 
Bruno asked me. 

I brightened up, and said "It must have been!" in a 
tone of absolute conviction. 

Bruno threw his arms round Sylvie's neck. "Sylvie!" 
he said, in a perfectly audible whisper. "He says it must 
have been!" 

"Then Bruno thought a little harder. And he said 'No! 
It cant be the Carpenter a-mending my Wheelbarrow, 
because I haven't got a Wheelbarrow!' " 

This time I hid my face in my hands, quite unable to 
meet Bruno's look of triumph. 

"So Bruno went a little further along the road. And 
then he heard that queer noise again — Thump! Thump! 
Thump! So he thought he'd look round, this time, just 
to see what it was. And what should it be but a great 


"A great big Lion," Bruno corrected her. 

"A great big Lion. And Bruno was ever so frightened, 
and he ran — " 

"No, he wasn't flightened a bit!" Bruno interrupted. 
(He was evidently anxious for the reputation of his name- 
sake.) "He runned away to get a good look at the Lion; 
'cause he wanted to see if it were the same Lion what 
used to nubble little Boys' heads oflf; and he wanted to 
know how big it was!" 

"Well, he ran away, to get a good look at the Lion. 
And the Lion trotted slowly after him. And the Lion 
called after him, in a very gentle voice, 'Little Boy, little 
Boy! You needn't be afraid of me! I'm a very gentle old 
Lion now. I never nubble little Boys' heads oflf, as I used 
to do.' And so Bruno said 'Don't you really, Sir? Then 
what do you live on?' And the Lion — " 

"Oo see he weren't a bit flightened!" Bruno said to me, 
patting my cheek again. " 'cause he remembered to call 
it 'Sir,' 00 know." 

I said that no doubt that was the real test whether a 
person was frightened or not. 

"And the Lion said 'Oh, I live on bread-and-butter, and 
cherries, and marmalade, and plum-cake — ' " 

" — and applesT Bruno put in. 

"Yes, 'and apples.' And Bruno said 'Won't you come 
with me to my Picnic?' And the Lion said 'Oh, I should 
like it very much indeed!' And Bruno and the Lion went 
away together." Sylvie stopped suddenly. 

"Is that all?'' I asked, despondingly. 

"Not quite all," Sylvie slily replied. "There's a sentence 
or two more. Isn't there, Bruno?" 

"Yes," with a carelessness that was evidently put on: 

<<• ^ ^ ^ >» 

]ust a sentence or two more. 
"And, as they were walking along, they looked over 

Bruno's picnic 651 

a hedge, and who should they see but a Uttle black Lamb! 
And the Lamb was ever so frightened. And it ran — " 

"It were really {lightened !" Bruno put in. 

"It ran away. And Bruno ran after it. And he called 
'Little Lamb! You needn't be afraid of Ms Lion! It 
never kills things! It lives on cherries, and marmalade — ' " 

" — and apples!'' said Bruno. "Oo always forgets the 

"And Bruno said 'Wo'n't you come with us to my 
Picnic?' And the Lamb said 'Oh, I should like it very 
much indeed^ if my Ma will let me!' And Bruno said 
'Let's go and ask you Ma!' And they went to the old 
Sheep. And Bruno said 'Please, may your little Lamb 
come to my Picnic?' And the Sheep said 'Yes, if it's 
learnt all its lessons.' And the Lamb said 'Oh yes. Ma! 
I've learnt all my lessons!'" 

"Pretend it hadn't any lessons!" Bruno earnestly 

"Oh, that would never do!" said Sylvie. "I ca'n't leave 
out all about the lessons! And the old Sheep said 'Do 
you know your ABC yet? Have you learnt A?' And 
the Lamb said 'Oh yes. Ma! I went to the A-field, and I 
helped them to make A!' 'Very good, my child! And 
have you learnt B?' 'Oh yes. Ma! I went to the B-hive, 
and the B gave me some honey!' 'Very good, my child! 
And have you learnt C?' 'Oh yes. Ma! I went to the C- 
side, and I saw the ships sailing on the C!' 'Very good, 
my child! You may go to Bruno's Picnic' " 

"So they set off. And Bruno walked in the middle, so 
that the Lamb mightn't see the Lion — " 

"It were jlightened^' Bruno explained. 

"Yes, and it trembled so; and it got paler and paler; 
and, before they'd got to the top of the hill, it was a 
white little Lamb — as white as snow!" 


"But Bruno weren't flightened!" said the owner of 
that name. "So he staid black!" 

"No, he didn't stay black! He staid pinJ^r laughed 
Sylvie. "I shouldn't kiss you like this, you know, if you 
were blac\r 

"Oo'd have to!" Bruno said with great decision. "Be- 
sides, Bruno wasn't Bruno, 00 know — I mean, Bruno 
wasn't me — I mean — don't talk nonsense, Sylvie!" 

"I won't do it again!" Sylvie said very humbly. "And 
so, as they went along, the Lion said 'Oh, I'll tell you 
what I used to do when I was a young Lion. I used to 
hide behind trees, to watch for little Boys.' " (Bruno 
cuddled a little closer to her.) " 'And, if a little thin 
scraggy Boy came by, why, I used to let him go. But, if 
a little fat juicy — ' " 

Bruno could bear no more. "Pretend he wasn't juicy!" 
he pleaded, half-sobbing. 

"Nonsense, Bruno!" Sylvie briskly replied. "It'll be 
done in a moment! ' — if a little fat juicy Boy came by, 
why, I used to spring out and gobble him up! Oh, you've 
no idea what a delicious thing it is — a little juicy Boy!' 
And Bruno said 'Oh, if you please, Sir, dont talk about 
eating little boys! It makes me so shivery!' " 

The real Bruno shivered, in sympathy with the hero. 

"And the Lion said 'Oh, well, we won't talk about it, 
then! I'll tell you what happened on my wedding-day — ' " 

"I like this part better," said Bruno, patting my cheek 
to keep me awake. 

"'There was, oh, such a lovely wedding-breakfast! At 
one end of the table there was a large plum-pudding. 
And at the other end there was a nice roasted Lamb! 
Oh, you've no idea what a delicious thing it is — a nice 
roasted Lamb!' And the Lamb said 'Oh, if you please. 
Sir, dont talk about eating Lambs! It makes me so 



shiveryl' And the Lion said 'Oh, well, we won't talk 
about it, then!'" 

Chapter XV 
The Little Foxes 

**So, when they got to the top of the hill, Bruno opened 
the hamper : and he took out the Bread, and the Apples, 
and the Milk: and they ate, and they drank. And when 
they'd finished the Milk, and eaten half the Bread and 
half the Apples, the Lamb said 'Oh, my paws is so sticky! 
I want to wash my paws!' And the Lion said 'Well, go 
down the hill, and wash them in the brook, yonder. 
We'll wait for you!' " 

"It never comed back!" Bruno solemnly whispered to 

But Sylvie overheard him. "You're not to whisper, 
Bruno! It spoils the story! And when the Lamb had been 
gone a long time, the Lion said to Bruno 'Do go and 
see after that silly little Lamb! It must have lost its way.' 
And Bruno went down the hill. And when he got to 
the brook, he saw the Lamb sitting on the bank: and 
who should be sitting by it but an old Fox!" 

"Don't know who should be sitting by it," Bruno said 
thoughtfully to himself. "A old Fox were sitting by it." 

"And the old Fox were saying," Sylvie went on, for 
once conceding the grammatical point, " 'Yes, my dear, 
you'll be ever so happy with us, if you'll only come and 
see us! I've got three little Foxes there, and we do love 
little Lambs so dearly!' And the Lamb said 'But you 
never eat them, do you. Sir?' And the Fox said 'Oh, no! 


What, eat a Lamb? We never dream o£ doing such a 
thing!' So the Lamb said 'Then I'll come with you.' And 
ofif they went, hand in hand." 

"That Fox were welly extremely wicked, weren't it.^" 
said Bruno. 

"No, no!" said Sylvie, rather shocked at such violent 
language. "It wasn't quite so bad as that!" 

"Well, I mean, it wasn't nice," the little fellow cor- 
rected himself. 

"And so Bruno went back to the Lion. 'Oh, come 
quick!' he said. 'The Fox has taken the Lamb to his 
house with him! I'm sure he means to eat it!' And the 
Lion said 'I'll come as quick as ever I can!' And they 
trotted down the hill." 

"Do 00 think he caught the Fox, Mister Sir?" said 
Bruno. I shook my head, not liking to speak: and Sylvie 
went on. 

"And when they got to the house, Bruno looked in at 
the window. And there he saw the three little Foxes sit- 
ting round the table, with their clean pinafores on^ and 
spoons in their hands — " 

"Spoons in their hands!" Bruno repeated in an ecstasy 
of delight. 

"And the Fox had got a great big knife — all ready to 
kill the poor little Lamb — " ("Oo needn't be flightened, 
Mister Sir!" Bruno put in, in a hasty whisper.) 

"And just as he was going to do it, Bruno heard a 
great ROAR — " (The real Bruno put his hand into mine, 
and held tight), "and the Lion came bang through the 
door, and the next moment it had bitten off the old 
Fox's head! And Bruno jumped in at the window, and 
went leaping round the room, and crying out 'Hooray! 
Hooray! The old Fox is dead! The old Fox is dead!' " 


Bruno got up in some excitement. "May I do it now?" 
he enquired. 

Sylvie was quite decided on this point. "Wait till after- 
wards," she said. "The speeches come next, don't you 
know? You always love the speeches, dont you?" 

"Yes, I doos," said Bruno : and sat down again. 

"The Lion's speech. *Now, you silly little Lamb, go 
home to your mother, and never listen to old Foxes 
again. And be very good and obedient.' " 

"The Lamb's speech. 'Oh, indeed, Sir, I will, Sir!' and 
the Lamb went away." ("But 00 needn't go away!" 
Bruno explained. "It's quite the nicest part — what's com- 
ing now!" Sylvie smiled. She liked having an apprecia- 
tive audience.) 

"The Lion's speech to Bruno. 'Now, Bruno, take those 
little Foxes home with you, and teach them to be good 
obedient little Foxes! Not like that wicked old thing 
there, that's got no head!' " ("That hasn't got no head," 
Bruno repeated.) 

"Bruno's speech to the Lion. 'Oh, indeed. Sir, I will. 
Sir!' And the Lion went away." ("It gets betterer and 
betterer, now," Bruno whispered to me, "right away to 
the end!") 

"Bruno's speech to the little Foxes. 'Now, little Foxes, 
you're going to have your first lesson in being good. I'm 
going to put you into the hamper, along with the Apples 
and the Bread: and you're not to eat the Apples: and 
you're not to eat the Bread: and you're not to eat any- 
thing — till we get to my house : and then you'll have your 
supper.' " 

"The little Foxes' speech to Bruno. The little Foxes 
said nothing. 

"So Bruno put the Apples into the hamper — and the 


little Foxes — and the Bread — " ("They had picnicked all 
the Milk," Bruno explained in a whisper) " — and he set 
off to go to his house." ("We're getting near the end 
now," said Bruno.) 

"And, when he had got a little way, he thought he 
would look into the hamper, and see how the little Foxes 
were getting on." 

"So he opened the door — " said Bruno. 

"Oh, Bruno!" Sylvie exclaimed, ''you're not telling the 
story! So he opened the door, and behold, there were no 
Apples! So Bruno said 'Eldest little Fox, have you been 
eating the Apples?' And the eldest little Fox said *No 
no no!' " (It is impossible to give the tone in which Sylvie 
repeated this rapid little *No no no!' The nearest I can 
come to it is to say that it was much as if a young and 
excited duck had tried to quack the words. It was too 
quick for a quack, and yet too harsh to be anything else.) 
"Then he said 'Second little Fox, have you been eating 
the Apples?' And the second little Fox said 'No no no!' 
Then he said 'Youngest little Fox, have you been eating 
the Apples?' And the youngest little Fox tried to say 
'No no no!' but its mouth was so full, it couldn't, and it 
only said 'Wauch! Wauch! Wauch!' And Bruno looked 
into its mouth. And its mouth was full of Apples! And 
Bruno shook his head, and he said 'Oh dear, oh dear! 
What bad creatures these Foxes are!' " 

Bruno was listening intently: and, when Sylvie paused 
to take breath, he could only just gasp out the words 
"About the Bread?" 

"Yes," said Sylvie, "the Bread comes next. So he shut 
the door again; and he went a little further; and then 
he thought he'd just peep in once more. And behold, 
there was no Bread!" ("What do 'behold' mean?'' said 
Bruno. "Hush!" said Sylvie.) "And he said 'Eldest little 


Fox, have you been eating the Bread?' And the eldest 
Httle Fox said *No no no!' ^Second Uttle Fox, have you 
been eating the Bread?' And the second Uttle Fox only 
said *Wauch! Wauch! Wauch!' And Bruno looked into 
its mouth, and its mouth was full of Bread!" ("It might 
have chokeded it," said Bruno.) "So he said *Oh dear, 
oh dear! What shall I do with these Foxes?' And he went 
a little further." ("Now comes the most interesting part," 
Bruno whispered.) 

"And when Bruno opened the hamper again, what do 
you think he saw?" ("Only two Foxes!" Bruno cried in 
a great hurry.) "You shouldn't tell it so quick. However, 
he did see only two Foxes. And he said 'Eldest little Fox, 
have you been eating the youngest little Fox?' And the 
eldest little Fox said *No no no!' 'Second little Fox, have 
you been eating the youngest little Fox ? ' And the second 
little Fox did its very best to say 'No no no!' but it could 
only say 'Weuchk! Weuchk! Weuchk!' And when Bruno 
looked into its mouth, it was half full of Bread, and half 
full of Fox!" (Bruno said nothing in the pause this time. 
He was beginning to pant a little, as he knew the crisis 
was coming.) 

"And when he'd got nearly home, he looked once more 
into the hamper, and he saw — " 

"Only — " Bruno began, but a generous thought struck 
him, and he looked at me. "Oo may say it, this time. 
Mister Sir!" he whispered. It was a noble offer, but I 
wouldn't rob him of the treat. "Go on, Bruno," I said, 
"you say it much the best." "Only — but — one — Fox!" 
Bruno said with great solemnity. 

" 'Eldest little Fox,' " Sylvie said, dropping the narra- 
tive-form in her eagerness, " 'You've been so good that 
I can hardly believe you've been disobedient: but I'm 
afraid you've been eating your little sister?' And the 


eldest little Fox said Whihuauch! Whihuauch!' and then 
it choked. And Bruno looked into its mouth, and it was 
full!" (Sylvie paused to take breath, and Bruno lay back 
among the daisies, and looked at me triumphantly. "Isn't 
it grand ^ Mister Sir?" said he. I tried hard to assume a 
critical tone. "It's grand," I said: "but it frightens one so!" 
"Oo may sit a little closer to me^ if 00 like," said Bruno.) 

"And so Bruno went home: and took the hamper into 
the kitchen, and opened it. And he saw — " Sylvie looked 
at me J this time, as if she thought I had been rather 
neglected and ought to be allowed one guess, at any rate. 

"He ca'n't guess!" Bruno cried eagerly. "I 'fraid I must 
tell him! There weren't — nuffin in the hamper!" I shiv- 
ered in terror, and Bruno clapped his hands with delight. 
"He is flightened, Sylvie! Tell the rest!" 

"So Bruno said ^Eldest little Fox, have you been eating 
yourself, you wicked little Fox?' And the eldest little 
Fox said 'Whihuauch!' And then Bruno saw there was 
only its mouth in the hamper! So he took the mouth, and 
he opened it, and shook, and shook! And at last he shook 
the little Fox out of its own mouth! And then he said 
'Open your mouth again, you wicked little thing!' And 
he shook, and shook! And he shook out the second little 
Fox! And he said 'Now open your mouth!' And he shook, 
and shook! And he shook out the youngest little Fox, 
and all the Apples, and all the Bread! 

"And then Bruno stood the little Foxes up against the 
wall : and he made them a little speech. 'Now, little Foxes, 
you've begun very wickedly — and you'll have to be pun- 
ished. First you'll go up to the nursery, and wash your 
faces, and put on clean pinafores. Then you'll hear the 
bell ring for supper. Then you'll come down: and you 
tvont Jiave any supper: but you'll have a good whipping! 
Then you'll go to bed. Then in the morning you'll hear 


the bell ring for breakfast. But you wont have any break- 
fast! You'll have a good whipping! Then you'll have your 
lessons. And, perhaps, if you're very good, w^hen dinner- 
time comes, you'll have a little dinner, and no more 
whipping!'" ("How^ very kind he was!" I whispered to 
Bruno. ''Middling kind," Bruno corrected me gravely.) 

"So the little Foxes ran up to the nursery. And soon 
Bruno went into the hall, and rang the big bell. 'Tingle, 
tingle, tingle! Supper, supper, supper!' Down came the 
little Foxes, in such a hurry for their supper! Clean pina- 
fores? Spoons in their hands! And, when they got into 
the dining-room, there was ever such a white table-cloth 
on the table! But there was nothing on it but a big whip. 
And they had such a whipping!" (I put my handkerchief 
to my eyes, and Bruno hastily climbed upon my knee 
and stroked my face. "Only one more whipping. Mister 
Sir!" he whispered. "Don't cry more than 00 ca'n't help!") 

"And the next morning early, Bruno rang the big bell 
again. 'Tingle, tingle, tingle! Breakfast, breakfast, break- 
fast!' Down came the little Foxes! Clean pinafores! 
Spoons in their hands! No breakfast! Only the big whip! 
Then came lessons," Sylvie hurried on, for I still had my 
handkerchief to my eyes. "And the little Foxes were ever 
so good! And they learned their lessons backwards, and 
forwards, and upside-down. And at last Bruno rang the 
big bell again. 'Tingle, tingle, tingle! Dinner, dinner, 
dinner!' And when the little Foxes came down — " ("Had 
they clean pinafores on?" Bruno enquired. "Of course!" 
said Sylvie. "And spoons?" "Why, you hjiow they had!" 
"Couldn't be certain^' said Bruno.) " — they came as slow 
as slow! And they said 'Oh! There'll be no dinner! 
There'll only be the big whip!' But, when they got into 
the room, they saw the most lovely dinner!" ("Buns?" 
cried Bruno, clapping his hands.) "Buns, and cake, and 


— " (" — and jam?" said Bruno.) "Yes, jam — and soup — 
and — " (" — and sugar plums T Bruno put in once more; 
and Sylvie seemed satisfied.) 

"And ever after that, they were such good Uttle Foxes! 
They did their lessons as good as gold — and they never 
did what Bruno told them not to — and they never ate 
each other any more — and they never ate them selves!'' 

The story came to an end so suddenly, it almost took 
my breath away ; however I did my best to make a pretty 
speech of thanks. "I'm sure it's very — very — very much so, 
I'm sure!" I seemed to hear myself say. 

Chapter XVI 

Beyond These Voices 

^'I didn't quite catch what you said!" were the next 
words that reached my ear, but certainly not in the voice 
either of Sylvie or of Bruno, whom I could just see, 
through the crowd of guests, standing by the piano, and 
listening to the Count's song. Mein Herr was the speaker. 
"I didn't quite catch what you said!" he repeated. "But 
I've no doubt you take m,y view of it. Thank you very 
much for your kind attention. There is only but one verse 
left to be sung!" These last words were not in the gentle 
voice of Mein Herr, but in the deep bass of the French 
Count. And, in the silence that followed, the final stanza 
of "Tottles" rang through the room. 

See now this couple settled down 
In quiet lodgings, out of town: 


Submissively the tearful wife 
Accepts a plain and humble life: 
Yet begs one boon on bended \nee: 
"My due f{y 'darling, don't resent it! 
Mamma might come for two or three — " 
"NEVERr yelled Tottles, And he meant it. 

The conclusion of the song was followed by quite a 
chorus of thanks and compliments from all parts of the 
room, which the gratified singer responded to by bowing 
low in all directions. "It is to me a great privilege," he 
said to Lady Muriel, "to have met with this so marvellous 
a song. The accompaniment to him is so strange, so mys- 
terious: it is as if a new music were to be invented! I 
will play him once again so as that to show you what I 
mean." He returned to the piano, but the song had 

The bewildered singer searched through the heap of 
music lying on an adjoining table, but it was not there, 
either. Lady Muriel helped in the search: others soon 
joined: the excitement grew. "What can have become of 
it.^" exclaimed Lady Muriel. Nobody knew: one thing 
only was certain, that no one had been near the piano 
since the Count had sung the last verse of the song. 

"Nevare mind him!" he said, most good-naturedly. "I 
shall give it you with memory alone!" He sat down, and 
began vaguely fingering the notes; but nothing re- 
sembling the tune came out. Then he, too, grew excited. 
"But what oddness! How much of singularity! That I 
might lose, not the words alone, but the tune also — that 
is quite curious, I suppose?" 

We all supposed it, heartily. 

"It was that sweet little boy, who found it for me," the 
Count suggested. "Quite perhaps he is the thief?" 



"Of course he is!" cried Lady Muriel. "Bruno! Where 
are you, my darUng?" 

But no Bruno repUed: it seemed that the two children 
had vanished as suddenly, and as mysteriously, as the 

"They are playing us a trick?" Lady Muriel gaily ex- 
claimed. "This is only an ex tempore game of Hide-and- 
Seek! That little Bruno is an embodied Mischief!" 

The suggestion was a welcome one to most of us, for 
some of the guests were beginning to look decidedly un- 
easy. A general search was set on foot with much en- 
thusiasm: curtains were thrown back and shaken, cup- 
boards opened,. and ottomans turned over; but the num- 
ber of possible hiding-places proved to be strictly limited; 
and the search came to an end almost as soon as it had 

"They must have run out, while we were wrapped up 
in the song," Lady Muriel said, addressing herself to the 
Count, who seemed more agitated than the others; "and 
no doubt they've found their way back to the house- 
keeper's room." 

"Not by this door!" was the earnest protest of a knot 
of two or three gentlemen, who had been grouped round 
the door (one of them actually leaning against it) for the 
last half-hour, as they declared. ''This door has not been 
opened since the song began!" 

An uncomfortable silence followed this announcement. 
Lady Muriel ventured no further conjectures, but quietly 
examined the fastenings of the windows, which opened as 
doors. They all proved to be well fastened, inside. 

Not yet at the end of her resources, Lady Muriel rang 
the bell. "Ask the housekeeper to step here," she said, "and 
to bring the children's walking-things with her." 


"Pve brought them, my Lady/' said the obsequious 
housekeeper, entering after another minute of silence. 
"I thought the young lady would have come to my room 
to put on her boots. Here's your boots, my love!" she 
added cheerfully, looking in all directions for the chil- 
dren. There was no answer, and she turned to Lady 
Muriel with a puzzled smile. "Have the Uttle darhngs 
hid themselves?" 

"I don't see them, just now," Lady Muriel replied, 
rather evasively. "You can leave their things here, Wilson. 
I'll dress them, when they're ready to go." 

The two little hats, and Sylvie's walking-jacket, were 
handed round among the ladies, with many exclama- 
tions of delight. There certainly was a sort of witchery 
of beauty about them. Even the little boots did not miss 
their share of favorable criticism. "Such natty little 
things!" the musical young lady exclaimed, almost 
fondling them as she spoke. "And what tiny tiny feet they 
must have!" 

Finally, the things were piled together on the centre- 
ottoman, and the guests, despairing of seeing the children 
again, began to wish good-night and leave the house. 

There were only some eight or nine left — to whom the 
Count was explaining, for the twentieth time, how he had 
had his eye on the children during the last verse of the 
song; how he had then glanced round the room, to see 
what effect "de great chest-note" had had upon his audi- 
ence; and how, when he looked back again, they had both 
disappeared — when exclamations of dismay began to be 
heard on all sides, the Count hastily bringing his story 
to an end to join in the outcry. 

The walking-things had all disappeared! 

After the utter failure of the search for the children^ 


there was a very half-hearted search made for their ap- 
parel. The remaining guests seemed only too glad to get 
away, leaving only the Count and our four selves. 

The Count sank into an easy-chair, and panted a little. 

"Who then are these dear children, I pray you?" he 
said. "Why come they, why go they, in this so little ordi- 
nary a fashion? That the music should make itself to 
vanish — that the hats, the boots, should make themselves 
to vanish — how is it, I pray you?" 

"I've no idea where they are!" was all I could say, on 
finding myself appealed to, by general consent, for an 

The Count seemed about to ask further questions, but 
checked himself. 

"The hour makes himself to become late," he said. "I 
wish to you a very good night, my Lady. I betake myself 
to my bed — to dream — if that indeed I be not dreaming 
now!" And he hastily left the room. 

"Stay awhile, stay awhile!" said the Earl, as I was about 
to follow the Count. ''You are not a guest, you know! 
Arthur's friend is at home here!" 

"Thanks!" I said, as with true English instincts, we 
drew our chairs together round the fire-place, though no 
fire was burning — Lady Muriel having taken the heap of 
music on her knee, to have one more search for the 
strangely-vanished song. 

"Don't you sometimes feel a wild longing," she said, 
addressing herself to me, "to have something more to do 
with your hands, while you talk, than just holding a 
cigar, and now and then knocking off the ash? Oh, I 
know all that you're going to say!" (This was to Arthur, 
who appeared about to interrupt her.) "The Majesty of 
Thought supersedes the work of the fingers. A Man's 
severe thinking, plus the shaking-oflF a cigar-ash, comes to 


the same total as a Woman's trivial fancies, plus the most 
elaborate embroidery. That's your sentiment, isn't it, only 
better expressed?" 

Arthur looked into the radiant, mischievous face, with 
a grave and very tender smile. "Yes," he said resignedly: 
"that is my sentiment, exactly." 

"Rest of body, and activity of mind," I put in. "Som^ 
writer tells us that is the acme of human happiness." 

"Plenty of bodily rest, at any rate!" Lady Muriel re 
plied, glancing at the three recumbent figures around her. 
"But what you call activity of mind — " 

" — is the privilege of young Physicians only^' said the 
Earl. "We old men have no claim to be active! What can 
an old man do but die?'' 

"A good many other things, I should hope^' Arthur 
said earnestly. 

"Well, maybe. Still you have the advantage of me in 
many ways, dear boy! Not only that your day is dawning 
while Tnine is setting, but your interest in Life — somehow 
I ca'n't help envying you that. It will be many a year be- 
fore you lose your hold of thatr 

"Yet surely many human interests survive human 
Life?" I said. 

"Many do, no doubt. And some forms of Science; but 
only some, I think. Mathematics, for instance: that seems 
to possess an endless interest: one ca'n't imagine any 
form of Life, or any race of intelligent beings, where 
Mathematical truth would lose its meaning. But I fear 
Medicine stands on a different footing. Suppose you dis- 
cover a remedy for some disease hitherto supposed to be 
incurable. Well, it is delightful for the moment, no doubt 
— full of interest — perhaps it brings you fame and for- 
tune. But what then? Look on, a few years, into a life 
where disease has no existence. What is your discovery 


worth, tJien? Milton makes Jove promise too much. 'Of 
so much fame in heaven expect thy meed' Poor comfort 
when one's *fame' concerns matters that will have ceased 
to have a meaning!" 

"At any rate one wouldn't care to make any fresh 
medical discoveries," said Arthur. "I see no help for that 
— though I shall be sorry to give up my favorite studies. 
Still, medicine, disease, pain, sorrow, sin — I fear they're 
all linked together. Banish sin, and you banish them all!" 

''Military science is a yet stronger instance," said the 
Earl. "Without sin, war would surely be impossible. Still 
any mind, that has had in this life any keen interest, not 
in itself sinful, will surely find itself some congenial line 
of work hereafter. Wellington may have no more battles 
to fight — and yet — 

'We doubt not that, for one so true, 
There must be other, nobler wor\ to do. 
Than when he fought at Waterloo, 

And Victor he must ever be!' " 

He lingered over the beautiful words, as if he loved 
them: and his voice, like distant music, died away into 

After a minute or two he began again. "If I'm not 
wearying you, I would like to tell you an idea of the fu- 
ture Life which has haunted me for years, like a sort of 
waking nightmare — I ca'n't reason myself out of it." 

"Pray do," Arthur and I replied, almost in a breath. 
Lady Muriel put aside the heap of music, and folded her 
hands together. 

"The one idea," the Earl resumed, "that has seemed to 
me to overshadow all the rest, is that of Eternity — involv- 
ing, as it seems to do, the necessary exhaustion of all sub- 


jects of human interest. Take Pure Mathematics, for in- 
stance — a Science independent of our present surround- 
ings. I have studied it, myself, a little. Take the subject of 
circles and ellipses — what we call 'curves of the second de- 
gree.' In a future Life, it would only be a question of so 
many years (or hundreds of years, if you like), for a man 
to work out all their properties. Then he might go to 
curves of the third degree. Say that took ten times as long 
(you see we have unlimited time to deal with). I can 
hardly imagine his interest in the subject holding out 
even for those; and, though there is no limit to the degree 
of the curves he might study, yet surely the time, needed 
to exhaust all the novelty and interest of the subject, 
would be absolutely finite? And so of all other branches of 
Science. And, when I transport myself, in thought, 
through some thousands or millions of years, and fancy 
myself possessed of as much Science as one created reason 
can carry, I ask myself 'What then? With nothing more 
to learn, can one rest content on \nowledge^ for the eter- 
nity yet to be lived